Oregon Advance Directives:
An advance health care directive is a set of specific instructions about what actions should be taken for your health in the event you are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity, and appoints a person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. The document can direct your doctors or family members about your wishes regarding resuscitation, tube feeding, and/or life support.
Clients may recall the sad story involving Terri Schiavo, a severely brain damaged woman on prolonged life support after suffering cardiac arrest. Because Ms. Schiavo had no advance directive, her husband and family were placed in a terrible position of arguing over whether continued life support was appropriate, and what Ms. Schiavo wanted for herself. The entire episode could have been avoided if an advance directive had been completed.