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What does a medical directive cover?

No matter what age you are, it is important to think about your wishes related to health care and medical treatments. In Colorado, state law allows you to refuse or consent to medical treatments. However, some injuries and sicknesses may make it difficult or impossible for you to communicate your medical preferences to your doctor and/or family members. A medical directive gives your caregivers and medical staff clear directions relating to your care.

According to the Colorado Bar Association, there are several types of advance medical directives. A standard living will allows you to consent to or refuse certain life-sustaining procedures. Some common issues you may cover in a living will include artificial hydration and certain types of surgery. You may also outline your treatment preferences for situations where you are in a persistive vegetative state.

A CPR order is a similar type of directive. In Colorado, you may only execute a CPR directive by coordinating with your physician. You may obtain the form from the Department of Health, and you must get your doctor's signature on it after a consultation. If you choose to have a CPR directive, you may want to wear a medical bracelet or display the directive in your home so it is easy for emergency personnel to see it.

Other medical directives may allow you to declare how you want your remains handled and whether you wish to be an organ donor. Another option to consider is creating a Health Care Power of Attorney that gives a trusted agent the legal right to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to.

This information about medical directives is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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