Advance Directives: The HAVES and the HAVE NOTS

• You HAVE someone in place if you can no longer make your own choices.
• You HAVE NOT lost control over your health care choices as long as you can make them.
• You HAVE the ability to give a lot of detail on the kinds of treatments you want.
• You HAVE NOT elected  “no treatment” simply by completing an Advance Directive.
• You HAVE great flexibility to modify or rewrite the information until you like it.
• You HAVE NOT been stuck with the options on the form.
• You HAVE the option to have an attorney help. 
• You do NOT HAVE to hire an attorney draft this for you; you can do it.
• You HAVE the right to say you do not want any treatment under some circumstances.
• You do NOT HAVE to accept treatment just because it is available.
• You HAVE the ability to name anyone, even friends over family members.
• You do NOT HAVE to let people you do not get along with make your health care choices just because they are family.
• You HAVE the ability to do this anytime you want but every person needs one, not just older or sick people.
• You do NOT HAVE to wait for illness or injury to do this.
None of us wants to be the next Terri Schiavo with family fighting over what we would have wanted.  Make it clear what you do want and what you do not want.  The more clarity you give, the less likely there will be any confusion.  In all events, if you have not done one, or if you have not done one in a while, do it today!  

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