Can I make my own medical
Unless you do something, your
health care decision will be made by someone else if you become unable to
consent to or refuse your medical treatments for yourself. In Indiana,
these decisions may be made by whomever your doctor talks to in your
immediate family (meaning your spouse, parent, adult child, brother or
sister) or by a person appointed by a court.
But in Indiana, you can make and
write down your own decisions about your future medical treatment if you
wish. Or you can appoint a person you choose to make these decisions for
you when you are not able to do so. You can even disqualify someone you
don’t want to make any health decision for you. You can do these things by
having what is called and advance directive.
What Can I do now to
express my wishes in case I later become unable to tell my doctor or my
You have three ways you can make
your wishes known:
can speak directly to your doctor and your family.
can appoint someone to speak or decide for you.
can write some specific medical instructions.
I change my mind after I write an advance directive?
You can change your mind about
any of the types of appointment or about the living will. However, you need
to make various people aware that you’ve changed your mind – like your
doctor, your family or the person you’ve appointed and – you might have to
revoke your decision in writing. Remember, however, that you can always
speak directly to your doctor. Be sure to state your wishes clearly and be
sure they are understood.
What if I make an advance
directive in Indiana and I am hospitalized in a different state, or vice
The law on honoring an advance
directive in or from another State is unclear. Because an advance directive
tells your wishes regarding medical care, however, it may be honored
wherever you are, if it is made known. But if you spend a great deal of
time in more than one state, you may wish to consider having your advance
directive meet the laws of those States, as much as possible.
What should I do with my advance
directive if I choose to have one?
Make sure that someone, such as your
lawyer or family member knows that you have an advance directive and know
where it is located. You should give a copy of your power of attorney
document to the person you have appointed to serve as your attorney in
fact. You may also decide to ask your doctor or other health care provider
to make your advance directive a part of your permanent medical record.
Another idea would be to keep a second copy of the directive in a safe place
where it can easily be found. You might keep a small card in your purse or
wallet which states that you have an advance directive and where it is
located or who your attorney in fact is, if you have named one.
I be refused care if I have an advanced directive?
No treatment will be withheld or
stopped until your doctor determines that treatment wouldn’t benefit you as
patient & families > advance directives