Your advance medical directive is a simple, three-part document that details what you’d like someone to do in the case of a medical emergency. The document lets another person make medical decisions for you and help with end-of-life decisions.
In Colorado, your advance medical directive includes:
- A MOST form
- Your living will
- Your medical power of attorney
The advance medical directive includes your written instructions about medical treatment you’d like if you’re unable to make decisions due to an injury or illness. You may also establish your medical power of attorney, who is the person who will make medical decisions on your behalf.
The MOST form is another form that goes over your health care wishes if you’re dealing with a life-threatening medical condition. The abbreviation stands for Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment and should override others’ decisions in end-of-life circumstances. This form is not necessary for all people, so it’s important to go over when it’s applicable and to fill it out if you need one. If you do need the MOST form, you will need your physician, an advance practice nurse (APN) or your physician’s assistant (PA) to sign it.
You may want to discuss these forms with your attorney to go over which you need and if they apply to your situation. Most people should, at a minimum, have a living will and medical power of attorney established. Even if you only have a few preferences, such as not being placed on a ventilator or tube fed after an accident or due to an illness, you should have those wishes known.
Talk to your loved ones about your medical preferences
You do need to talk to your loved ones about your preferences in medical care. Doing this may make it easier for them to accept the decisions you’ve made and to back you up on those decisions if they ever have to make them for you in the future. You should also be sure that your medical power of attorney has access to the living will and other documents so that they can have your wishes close at hand.