Personal Directives are an important document which ensures that you receive the type of care that you would like to have when you no longer have the capacity to make decisions on your own.
A Personal Directive is a document which will have effect only when you are brain dead for a period greater than seven (7) days. At that time, your agent must follow your instructions when making personal decisions on your behalf such as instructing your health care service providers to cease and refrain from any medical or surgical treatments which may prolong your life. This would take effect in the following circumstances: If you are in a coma or persistent vegatative state for a period greater than five (5) days and, in the opinion of your physician and other consultants, have no known hope of regaining awareness and higher mental fuctions, no matter what is done, and set out wishes with respect to being kept comfortable and free from pain. This means that you may be given pain medication even though it may dull consiousness and indirectly shorten your life.
In this Directive, “personal decisions” means any matter of a non-financial nature that relates to your person and without limitation includes health care, where you stay, your participation in social activities, and the legal matters that do not relate to your Estate (that’s where the Power of Attorney comes in).
You may also set out in your Will or Directive whether you wish to be buried, cremated, ashes sprinkled somewhere specific, etc.