Religion, personal beliefs, previous experiences and ethics can all play a role in how someone feels about certain kinds of medical treatments. Some people might deny blood transfusions on religious grounds, while others may decline organ transplants or heroic interventions because of age, underlying medical conditions or a belief that those resources would benefit someone else more. 

Given that so many different considerations can affect what someone wants to be done if they experience a medical scenario that results in their incapacitation, it can be very hard for family members to guess their loved one’s true wishes.

People may commit hours to careful reflection when trying to determine what care their loved one would want — or they may second-guess themselves for years after, especially if their loved one doesn’t recover to confirm that they made the right decision.  You can save your loved ones this stress by choosing to create an advanced medical directive as part of your estate plan.

Committing your medical preferences to writing helps you and the people you love

If you have an ethical or religious objection to certain medical procedures, don’t leave things to chance. 

For your own peace of mind and peace of mind of the people you care most about, taking the time to think about your wishes in different circumstances and putting those wishes in writing can guide those who must make difficult decisions on your behalf. Issues you may want to address could include transplants, life support, resuscitation, end-of-life care and even the administration of pain medication. The more details you include and the more scenarios you address, the more thorough the protection you have. 

If you need help putting your end-of-life wishes into writing, talk to an experienced attorney about your goals.