It Is Important to Have A Healthcare Directive In Texas

It Is Important to Have A Healthcare Directive In Texas
It Is Important to Have A Healthcare Directive In Texas

What are healthcare directives?

It is important to have a healthcare directive in Texas because it is a document where the signer tells his medical providers how he wants his end of life experience handled.

There are certain documents and relationships that must be put into place to assure the future needs and desires of the Alzheimer’s patient are executed. An advance directive is any statement made by a competent individual about preferences for future medical treatment in the event that the patient is unable to make decisions at the time of treatment. The two most common forms of advance directives are the Texas Directive to Physicians and the Texas Medical Power of Attorney.

 Texas Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates (formerly called Living Will):

A written statement of wishes regarding the use, withholding or withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment, nutrition and hydration if a person has a terminal condition and is incapable of making decisions for himself at that time. The directive can prohibit OR authorize the use of life-prolonging treatments when a person’s condition is terminal or irreversible. For example, the document may state that the signer’s life should not be artificially prolonged by extraordinary measures when there is no reasonable expectation of recovery from extreme physical or mental disability. However, the document can request that every effort be made to prolong life by extraordinary measures. Under “additional requests,” the individual can add personal instructions, such as “I want to receive as much pain medication as necessary to ensure my comfort,” or “I do not want a food tube inserted.” Generally, this directive only goes into effect if the person is no longer able to make his own decisions.

Texas Medical Power of Attorney (formerly called durable power of attorney for healthcare):

Allows the individual (principal) to assign someone (agent) to make decisions about his medical care in the event that he becomes incapable of making informed decisions. It also allows the principal to provide the agent, family members and healthcare providers with written instructions regarding the kind of treatments that should or should not be given. Even with the Medical Power of Attorney in place, the individual will continue to make his own medical decisions as long as he is capable of doing so and can communicate those decisions. The agent’s authority starts only when the attending physician certifies in writing that the individual no longer has the capacity to make those decisions. Further, a power of attorney can be changed or revoked at any time and does not give the agent authority to override the decision-making of the principal. For the Alzheimer’s patient, this means that he retains the right to make his own decisions as long as he is competent.

It is important to have a healthcare directive in Texas because it is a document where the signer tells his medical providers how he wants his end of life experience handled.