Advanced Care Directive Variations
Creating a legally valid advanced health care directive is a complicated process that should be completed with a lawyer. Without some essential legal procedures, your health directive could be invalidated once you are unable to speak for yourself.
Most health care directives today are based on the Lifecare Advance Directive. This comprehensive document included more than 1,000 participating patients in its creation and used more than 6,000 research articles to form the body of the text. Its one drawback — it can be tedious to fill out.
The Five Wishes directive is another popular health care document for end of life decisions. This document is not recognized in all 50 states but remains popular with Catholic patients as it was endorsed by Mother Teresa.
The Medical Directive created by Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School is an excellent resource for patients looking to understand typical medical decisions that happen for terminally ill patients. The document outlines six case scenarios and asks that the patient make decisions accordingly. In its original form, family members and medical personnel were then asked to apply the decision making process to real life situations. Because the document allowed room for interpretation, it has fallen out of favor as a final advanced care directive.
Finally, the Values History from Georgetown University School of Medicine was an effort to focus on values instead of medical procedures. This remains an important instrument for patients looking to learn about advance care directives, but is generally not used in estate planning.