Advance directives are written legal documents that explain your medical wishes and allow you to appoint somebody to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unconscious or unable to make your own decisions. When you have an advance directive, your family is not left wondering what you would want during a medical crisis.
J. David Baxter, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Memorial Health University Physicians -- Center for Internal Medicine, shares important information about advance care planning:
Download or print a Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care document.
Five Wishes is a program that helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. This document deals with a full spectrum of human needs -- medical, personal, and emotional.
My Wishes is a booklet that helps children express how they want to be cared for should they become seriously ill. Like Five Wishes, My Wishes helps to begin conversations among children, parents, and caregivers.
Cinco Deseos is an easy-to-use legal document that lets Spanish-speaking adults plan how they want to be cared for if they become seriously ill. Like Five Wishes, it is written in everyday language and speaks to all of a person’s concerns -- medical, personal, and emotional. Cinco Deseos also helps structure discussions with your family and physicians.
The American Health Lawyers Association provides helpful information in its Guide to Legal Issues in Life-Limiting Conditions.
Learn more about Georgia's organ, tissue, and eye donor registry at Donate Life Georgia.