An Instructive Directive and Health Care Proxy, oten referred to as a medical directive, proxy, living will or advanced directive gives you the absolute legal right to informed consent, meaning that you can choose or refuse medical treatments that have been explained to you by your doctor. This includes the right to refuse the use of blood once your physician has explained the risks, benefits and alternatives. It also protects the physician from liability connected to your blood refusal since the document is your sworn statement that you are aware of the risks of refusing possible life-saving treatment. The information included in the directive includes not only what you refuse, but also what alternatives to blood and related technologies, such as cell saver that you will conscientiously accept. A properly executed Advance Directive protects your right to choose or refuse treatment even when you are no longer mentally capable to explain for yourself. Appointing a health-care representative to be your advocate will further insure that your rights are honored.
Be sure to always carry your medical directive with you at all times. If you do not have it with you, consent for blood is assumed. An unconcious trauma patient, for instance, will receive transfusions to save their life unless a medical directive instructs them otherwise.
Carefully appointing your heath-care representative on your medical directive means that you will have an advocate on hand to speak for you once you are no longer able to do so. make sure that the person(s) you appoint know what your choices are and are ready, willing and able to serve as your spokesperson.
If you have not filled out your medical directive, feel free to call our office to set up an appointment. We will assist you in completing this legal document, explain your rights in simple terms, keep one copy on file and give you free copies for your personal use.