MORE THAN MONEY
By Hugh L. Hays, M.S.
ADVICE ON ADVANCE DIRECTIVES:
Should I have an advance directive?
By creating an advance directive, you are making your
preferences about medical care known before you’re faced with a
serious injury or illness. This will spare your loved ones the
stress of making decisions about your care while you are sick or
An advance directive tells your doctor what kind
of care you would like to have if you become unable to make medical
decisions (if you are in a coma, for example). If you are
admitted to the hospital, the hospital staff will probably talk to
you about advance directives.
A good advance directive describes the kind of
treatment you would want depending on how sick you are.
Advance directives usually tell your doctor that you don’t want
certain kinds of treatment. However, they can also say that
you want a certain treatment no matter how ill you are.
Planning ahead is important in selecting YOUR medical treatment or
the use of artificial life support.
In planning for those situations, you should
choose a family member or a friend who is familiar with your beliefs
and values. You would rely on this person-your “surrogate”-to
make the choice you would have made if you had not become
incapacitated. It is important that you discuss your wishes
with your surrogate so that he or she can act in your best
What is a do not resuscitate order?
A do not resuscitate (DNR) order is another kind of advance
directive. A DNR is a request not to have cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) if your heart stops or if you stop breathing.
You can use an advance directive form or tell your doctor that you
don’t want to be resuscitated. In this case, a DNR order is
put in your medical chart by your doctor.
Can I change my advance directive?
You may change or cancel your advance directive at any time.
Make sure that your doctor and any family members who knew about
your directives are also aware that you have changed them.
Copies of your advance directives should be given to your family and
It is not possible to answer all the difficult
questions that you might have about making medical choices, or about
choosing someone to make choices for you in the event you cannot do
them yourself. You should discuss these matters with your
family, physician, priest, minister, rabbi or other counselor.
TEXAS DRIVER’S LICENSE On the
back of the Texas Driver’s license there is a box where you can
indicate that you have a “Directive to physician” and it has been
filed at (space for a telephone # ).
Hugh L. Hays is President and Founder of More Than
Money, Inc., a faith based, non-profit educational ministry
providing group workshops.
www.morethanmoneyinc.com or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. For info.call (806) 796-0328 or