Do you need an Advance Directive?
I think the answer to that question is yes. An Advance Directive incorporates two documents: a Living Will and a Health Care Power of Attorney, sometimes called a Health Care Proxy.
A Living Will is a document in which you specify what procedures you’d want if you can’t speak for yourself. If you become incapacitated or you’re in a vegetative state, you’ll have made decisions in advance to specify what care you would want or not want, and whether you want to continue with feeding, hydration, and/or pain management.
The Power of Attorney or Proxy part is where you name someone who can enforce your wishes and make decisions for you. Think about that for a second. If you get to your end of life and you have a document in place, where you specify who could speak for you and what they should say, it’s really helpful. To quote Martha Stewart, it’s a good thing. It takes a lot of decision-making and uncertainty out of family members and loved ones’ hands. So I think everybody should have an Advance Directive.