Even if you regularly receive praise from your physician about your overall good health, it is impossible to predict the future. Eventually, due to an unexpected illness or life-changing injury, you may lose the capacity to make your own medical decisions. If that happens, you probably want to leave precise instructions for your doctors to follow.
According to Florida law, a health care advance directive allows you to instruct medical professionals about the care you want to receive and the care you do not want to receive. Furthermore, by designating a health care surrogate, you have someone to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Do you have a new diagnosis?
Even if you spent a great deal of time coming up with your advance directives, it is important to regularly review them to ensure they continue to reflect your genuine wishes. This is particularly true if you have a new diagnosis. That is, after learning about your medical condition, you may feel the need to rework your advance directives.
Have you lost touch with your surrogate?
You do not want your health care surrogate to be someone who is no longer available. If you have changed the makeup of your family or simply lost touch with your surrogate, it is probably time to pick a new one.
Do you see things differently now?
It is not uncommon for a person’s health care goals to change over time, especially when there are advancements in medicine and medical technology. If your advance directives do not match your personal objectives, they probably need some updating.
Ultimately, reviewing your advance directives annually ensures your doctors know exactly how to proceed with your medical care.