By Hook Law Center
Answer – Yes, an advance medical directive is an important piece of one’s estate plan. One of the fundamental rights enjoyed by every American is the right to bodily integrity; individuals have the right to decide what treatment they receive and what treatment they refuse. No one can do anything to an individual’s body that they do not authorize. The advance medical directive is an important legal tool that continues this protection after a person is no longer capable of making reasoned judgments. Recent changes in Virginia law have now established that the advanced medical directive is the primary means by which one controls what happens to oneself from the moment one is found by a physicians to be incapacitated until either recovery or death. Because this is often the period in which one requires the most extensive medical treatment, it only makes sense for individuals to make their wishes clear beforehand.