In firm news, the Norton Pelt team is very excited to announce that we won the Best Law Firm Category in the 2023 Best of the Burg contest!   We'd like to extend a big thank you to our community for all of your support - this couldn't have been achieved without you. We look forward to continuing to provide excellent legal services to Fredericksburg and the Commonwealth.

Why You Should Take Advantage of Virginia’s Advance Medical Directives

You may have heard of a DNR, otherwise known as a Do Not Resuscitate order. The DNR is a form you can request through your healthcare provider which ensures you will not be resuscitated in the case of a respiratory or cardiac arrest. While the DNR is a good option, it is very limited in its scope. Thankfully, Virginia has made available Advance Medical Directives, which give you much more control over your medical decisions should you become incapacitated.

What is an advance medical directive?

An advance medical directive allows someone else to make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. The advance medical directive has several benefits over a DNR, power of attorney, or guardianship. Primarily, the advance medical directive is much broader in scope and can be modified to include or exclude any particular circumstances you want. This gives you the ability to account for specific situations which may be particularly relevant to you, but not relevant or able to be controlled by a DNR or power of attorney.

One of the largest benefits of creating an advance medical directive is the fact that it is considered both advanced and durable. This means that you can still make your own medical decisions while you’re able, but if you were to become unable to do so, the advance medical directive kicks in. The advance medical directive is similar to a medical power of attorney, by designating an individual who will make healthcare decisions for you, but also has some of the benefits of a living will, such as being able to specifically disallow certain treatments. The flexibility to allow someone to make critical decisions for you while also retaining the rigidity of commanding or disallowing certain treatments is what makes an advance medical directive so useful, since your directive cannot account for every possibility.

What can I include in my advance medical directive?

You are able to give your health care agent (the person you give the right to make your medical decisions to) the right to enforce your wishes, even overriding your protest to the decision should you be able to speak but are not cognizant. This is common in cases of Alzheimer’s or brain injuries, where a person may be able to speak perfectly well, but unable to be cognizant or aware of their situation, and thus unable to make informed decisions for themselves.

You are also able to exclude anything you wish from your advance medical directive. This is good for narrowing the scope to ensure only particular contingencies are covered and other cases are handled as normal. If you’re seeking help in creating an advance medical directive for yourself, give Norton Pelt, PLC a call. We will help you create a plan that works for you, and make sure your medical future is safe. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

The following two tabs change content below.

Norton Pelt, PLC

We work hard to ensure we provide the best legal experience possible and make it a priority to get to know each client so we can help you through virtually every type of legal event you may go through.

Latest posts by Norton Pelt, PLC (see all)