In an Advance Care Directive you are able to include Values Directives and Instructional Directives to provide your Medical Treatment Decision Maker with guidelines on what you would like to happen should you lose capacity and are unable to make medical decisions on your own.
A values directive is a statement of your values and preferences for your medical treatment.
Some questions you might like to consider in determining your values include:
- What matters most in your life? For e.g.:
- Do you want to live as long as possible, whatever it takes? Or is quality of life more important to you?
- Do you have religious or spiritual beliefs that affect the type of medical treatment you would consent to?
- What worries you most about the future?
- Are there other people that you would like involved? Consider if there are other people you would like your medical treatment decision maker and health practitioners to be involved in discussions with about your care.
If you are unsure about how to clarify your values, feel free to have a look www.myvalues.org.au, where you may complete a survey that will help you think more about the important issues that underpin difficult decisions.
Why should you consider a Values Directive?
If you do not have decision making capacity, your medical treatment decision maker will need to make the decision on your behalf. If you do not have an instructional directive, your medical treatment decision maker will need to make the decision they reasonably believe you would make. To do this, they may consider the following:
- Your values directive;
- Other values or preferences you have expressed.
An Advance Care Directive that includes both Values Directives and Instructional Directives is a great way to let your wishes be known and for your Medical Treatment Decision Maker to know exactly what you want. This will also mean they feel more comfortable in making decisions on your behalf knowing that they are what you want.
If you would like to put an Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker and Advance Care Directive in place, please contact Legal Essentials. We, along with your doctor, will help ensure that your wishes are well outlined.