Everyone should have the right to decide how they wish to be treated at the end of life. Likewise, everyone should have the right to determine the nature and extent of medical care that they want to receive, especially if facing extended health problems or life-threatening conditions. While most of us do not like to think about our own mortality or even discuss the inevitability of illness and death, the fact is that everyone eventually dies. Most people will at some point face hospitalization, illness, and medical care.

The law allows us to make certain decisions well in advance, so that we remain in charge of our own destiny and in charge of our own care, even if we lose the ability to speak for ourselves. Alabama law has several options for protecting these fundamental rights. An experienced Birmingham advance medical directive attorney can help you prepare for whatever the future may bring.


A durable medical power of attorney is a fairly straightforward document that allows you to name an “agent” to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you no longer are able. You can have it become effective immediately upon signing it, or you can have it become effective upon some triggering event, such as when you are determined by a physician to be incapacitated.


Many people choose to get a living will, which is a form of advance medical directive. A living will is designed to deal with end-of-life decisions. This document is also known as a “healthcare proxy,” because it speaks for you when you can no longer speak for yourself. Many people would not want to be kept alive on a ventilator, while others may have specific requests about whether they would want to be kept alive with feeding tubes. An advance directive can put these wishes in writing so that doctors and family can easily carry out your wishes when the time comes. This can often avoid a lot of emotional issues and fighting, especially at a time that may be highly sensitive for loved ones.


Advance directives can even take the form of religious instructions. For instance, some people may hold strong religious beliefs requiring them to abstain from blood transfusions, organ transplants, or even medical care in general. There may be specific requirements not to accept certain types of treatment, while other treatments may be acceptable. Rather than relying on whomever is present at the time to make these difficult choices, an advance directive can give family and doctors clear guidance, so that your wishes are upheld.


With years of experience compassionately helping people build estate plans and carefully working with clients to prepare for the future, Five Points Law Group is here to help. If you are concerned about the future and want to prepare for possible health problems, or you just want to make sure your loved ones are protected, contact us today to set up a confidential consultation, and let us help you put together a plan that is just right for you.

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