Advanced Healthcare

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					An advanced healthcare directive allows you to prepare a list of instructio
ns or choose an agent so that at a future date if you are unable to take de
cisions about your health your wishes as per the directive can be followed.
 But there are more reasons why you must get an advanced directive made, 4
important ones are mentioned below.

• Improving the Quality of Life: A better understanding of the human body an
d the various problems that can affect it has lead to tremendous advancement
s in the healthcare field. While the sophisticated technology continues to s
ave lives, it also ends up prolonging life where no recovery is possible and
 often leaves the patient in a vegetative or comatose state or in constant p
ain. In many cases the patient can be confined to nursing homes, bedridden,
or require assistance of feeding tubes. Such a condition can be very burdens
ome for the patient both physically and mentally. In such situations a direc
tive can help to minimize or stop any invasive treatment that may be uncomfo
rtable and ineffective for recovery.

• Family Concerns: Any illness or accident is taxing on the patient and furt
hermore also affects the family and close friends. A family will not know th
e wishes of the patient which can lead to unending arguments and cause bitte
rness when deciding on the best way of treatment. This not only causes delay
 but also additional distress to the patient and the family. A directive mad
e out and communicated well in advance will ensure that when the time comes
the family or the appointed proxy can arrive at the decision as per the pati
ent's wishes. Another advantage is that such a directive prepares the family
 beforehand especially in the case of a terminal illness or end-of-life trea
tment, who are then better prepared to handle the situation.

• Financial Aspect: Money will be the last thing on your mind when a loved o
ne is unwell. But the financial aspect cannot be disregarded, in fact studie
s have shown that almost one-fifth of the families suffer some kind of adver
se financial impact like having to quit the job or losing all their savings
due to prolonged and avoidable medical treatments. When making the directive
 the concerned person will give due importance to the financial condition or
 medical insurance and accordingly instruct on the line of treatment to be f
ollowed. This helps the family to avoid superfluous spending at the cost of
destabilizing themselves without attaching any guilt.

• Doctors Viewpoint: In many regions even verbal instructions are valid if w
itnessed by sufficient number of people, but when the time comes the doctor
may be hesitant especially when it involves vital treatment or instructions
for 'do not treat' or 'do not resuscitate'. An advanced directive made out o
n paper provides the doctor with the required immunity and ensures that your
 instructions are carried out without delay.

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