One of the many estate planning documents that people use in Oklahoma is an advance directive for health care. Such documents help people control what treatment they receive in an emergency. There are many circumstances that could leave an otherwise competent adult incapable of communicating their wishes to others. Car accidents, work injuries and pulmonary embolisms can all occur in moments and render someone unconscious or incapable of communicating.
An advance directive for health care plays an important role in such a situation. The document can provide clear instructions on three different, equally important matters.
A living will
Even if someone has talked with family members about their medical wishes, people may struggle to recall their preferences. The living will portion of an Oklahoma Advanced Directive allows someone to clarify their preferences. This portion of the document discusses pain management, life support and other medical preferences. Those who provide clear written guidance about their wishes for treatment can more easily trust that their family members will abide by their wishes in an emergency.
A health care proxy
Those who get married have a spouse who can speak about their medical wishes in an emergency. Of course, it can be very stressful for someone to take on that role while coping with a spouse’s sudden medical emergency. Individuals can name any competent adults that they trust to serve as their health care proxy in the second section of an Oklahoma advance directive for healthcare. People often name family members other than a spouse to assume that authority to protect against a situation in which their spouse becomes incapacitated due to the same incident or becomes too stressed to cope with the situation.
The final major component of an Oklahoma advance directive for health care is the section exploring someone’s wishes for anatomical gifts. People have the option of donating organs and tissues for those in need of transplants. They can also sometimes make donations to further medical research.
Family members often struggle to make decisions about anatomical gifts without written guidance, so including clear instructions in an advance directive can help someone to better ensure that their loved ones will comply with their wishes. Adding an advance directive to an Oklahoma estate plan can help protect someone during an emergency and provide guidance for their loved ones accordingly.