Advanced Medical Directive
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An Advance Medical Directive is a document specifying the medical treatments you want when you can’t tell others what you want. In other words, when you are unconscious or incompetent.
AMD, Advance Health Care Directive, AHCD, Advance Care Directive, Living Will
Purpose Of Advance Medical Directive
Advance Medical Directives are an outgrowth of the limitations of Living Wills. Advanced directives almost always add an agent to make decisions on behalf of an incapacitated maker. Living Wills with appointed medical agents, or spaces for an appointment of a medical decision agent, are often referred to as both Living Wills and Advance Care Directives.
AMDs can be much broader than the standard state Living Will forms. They can include information about all kinds of maker medical wishes, and even other wishes. For medical purposes, they can describe scenarios to better enable an appointed agent to make decisions. For example, the maker might add the following scenario. “Once I cannot recognize my family by name or perform any of my ADLs on my own, stop all life-sustaining medical treatments.”
AMDs are your wishes for medical interventions and a properly drafted AMD is designed so that anyone making medical decisions on your behalf follows your wishes.
There are also issues around the agent appointment. If the maker appears reasonably alert, they’re likely to appear competent. So the agent cannot override the patient even when the patient may have created POLSTs or Community DNRs. In other words, an apparently alert maker can override the AMD.
Medical community. All 50 states have a form that can be obtained and downloaded.
Option 1: 2 adult (over 18) witnesses (signatures). Usually one can be a family member, the other cannot. Can not be a medical professional.
Option 2: Patient can have it notarized
Effective when two physicians determine the patient lacks the capacity to communicate or make decisions.
Must also be 18 years of age or older.
Competent makers can revoke or modify anytime.
Other Resources On Advance Medical Directives
A good resource here.
Another resource here.
Also, see our section on all types of advance directives here.