If you had a sudden critical medical situation and were unable to make decisions for yourself, would your family know what you would or would not want? Would your values and preferences be respected? Without an advance directive such as a power of attorney for health care your family would not know your wishes and would be guessing as to what your personal decisions would be. Not having an advance directive in place causes increased stress to your family in an already stressful situation.
The best time to complete an advance directive is now, before a crisis hits. Even though these conversations are difficult, by planning ahead you get the care you want and avoid unnecessary suffering. You can relieve family members of decision making burdens during a time of crisis and grief. You can reduce confusion and disagreements amongst loved ones and have your medical preferences honored.
The case managers at your physician's office or in the hospital can help with these forms. There is no financial cost to you in completing an advance directive. So what are you waiting for? Talk to your physician and make this a priority in your medical care and medical record. This is truly a gift you can give your family while giving yourself control of your future.