Why are they important?
People have the right to make their own health care decisions. Advance directives can help people communicate their treatment choices when they would otherwise be unable to make such decisions.
But, what if you become incapable of making health care decisions for yourself because of injury or illness? Imagine that you are in a hospital, terminally ill with cancer and are confused. Who will decide whether you should have CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) if your heart should stop suddenly? Or, what if you are 40 years old and are involved in a motor vehicle accident which leaves you permanently unconscious. Who will decide whether you are to be kept alive with tube feedings? Or what if you have Alzheimer’s Disease and you develop a serious infection in a nursing home. Who will decide whether or not you will be hospitalized and treated with antibiotics?
Visit Advanced Directives Section on the Tennessee State Web Site with access to the forms you will need to complete an Advance Care Plan or Appointment of a Healthcare Agent.
Be proactive - Plan in advance!