Sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? When you say “Advance Medical Directive” (or AMD), it has a very formal, very legal ring to it. While an AMD is very important, it should not be scary, so let’s take a look at what an AMD is and what they are designed for.
Today’s Use of AMDs
For many people, the case of Terri Schiavo illustrated the need for people to make plans for the unforeseen when it comes to medical care just as they had been doing for many years with their finances. The purpose behind an advanced medical directive is to outline exactly what your wishes are for medical decisions.
For instance, if you go in for a routine surgery and there is a complication that puts you in a coma, who will decide how long to keep you on life support?
An advance medical directive also allows you to name someone to make medical decisions for you when cannot make them for yourself.
The actual term “advance directive” means exactly what it says. It makes reference to the fact that you have determined what is to be done and by whom from a medical perspective in the event that you are impaired due to a medical condition or procedure. Your AMD will only be used when it is decided by a doctor that your ultimate recovery is hopeless and a decision to keep you on life support must be made.