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Advance Health Care Directive Provides Reassurance to Your Family
by Sarah Beth Jones, GJK Attorney

April 17, 2023

Many of us will find ourselves in the unfortunate but unavoidable situation of seeing a loved one in the hospital who is out of treatment options. For family and close friends, this is a heart-breaking time full of emotions. If your loved one does not have an advance health care directive, you may find yourself facing the impossible choice of whether to prolong life. In these circumstances, it may be difficult to put aside your own feelings to determine what your loved one would want, and it’s even more difficult if you never had any conversations with your loved one to guide you in the decision. This is where an Advance Health Care Directive is valuable.

An Advance Health Care Directive is a standard form in most states that allows you to appoint individual(s) to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so. It also allows you to make end-of-life medical decisions in advance and designate if there is a medical treatment you would prefer withheld if there is no chance of recovery from a medical illness. Many forms also include a section where you can document your position and preferences on organ donation. This document should be notarized, if possible, and copies should be shared with your medical providers if you are hospitalized.

In times of uncertainty with emotions high, this simple form confirming your wishes regarding medical treatment can provide peace and reassurance to your family. Take time now to think through your preferences on medical decisions, so that if it’s ever necessary, your family can rest assured they are honoring your wishes.

For more information about advance health care directives or estate planning, email our team at

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