Under Maryland’s Health Care Decisions Act, you have the right to make your own health care decisions in advance. You can indicate your treatment preferences if you become incapacitated, or you can choose someone to make those decisions for you. Let us look at the criteria for establishing that right, which is known as an “advance directive.”
Advance directive: What it is
When planning your estate, you will also create a living will, which are written legal guidelines on how you want to receive medical care if you become sick and can’t make those decisions for yourself. For instance, when you are in the late stages of dementia, in a coma or near the end of your life.
The process of establishing an advanced directive
The first step is recording your wishes and having people close to you know that you have an advance directive in place. You can either record your living will in an electronic format or on paper. For an electronic format, head over to Mydirectives.com. You can go to the Office of the Attorney General website and fill out the provided form for written versions.
Once you print out your advance directive, find two witnesses to sign it. These people must not be your beneficiaries or a health care agent. And in Maryland, it is not a must that you notarize your advanced directive, but you can still do so if you feel like it.
Make sure that you carry a card in your wallet at all times that notify medical professionals that you have an advance directive in place. When you use the Mydirectives.com website, it will send a copy of your health care directives to all your family members and physicians that you have included in your living will.
Anyone above 18 years of age can prepare an advance directive in Maryland. Since unexpected situations can occur at any time, it is best to have a legal guideline that governs how you want to be taken care of.