Advanced Medical Directives and Covid-19

Three months into the Covid Pandemic, we have all probably read online accounts of individual’s first hand accounts with the virus, including articles written from the caretaker’s point of view.

One such article documented man sharing his father’s medical journey after being diagnosed with Covid-19. His father spent thirty-one days in the hospital fighting one infection after the next, taking two steps forward and three steps back. With the constant uncertainty of his father’s life hanging in the balance, the young man was prompted to visit his childhood home in hopes of finding a will or some sort of medical directive. After a brief search through his father’s filing cabinet, he was grateful to find that his father had not only a will, but an advanced medical directive prepared. After finding his father’s documents, he expressed in the article a strong sense of relief of knowing his father’s wishes allowing them a sense of calm when facing the unthinkable.

While it may be unpleasant to think of such subjects, it’s important to consider what would happen if you were unable to make decisions for yourself if you were to become incapacitated or ill. While the caretaker in the article expressed how helpful it was during this pandemic, an advanced medical directive should be considered a crucial part of any estate plan.

An Advanced Medical Directive is a legally binding document that informs doctors of what kind of medical care you want to receive if you are unable to make such decisions and can be completed by anyone eighteen years of age and older. It can assist in medical decisions such as life support and other interventions. This document also specifies which of your loved ones can make these decisions for you or if you want to make certain decisions yourself and outline them in the document.

As outlined by the author, an Advanced Medical Directive will make it easier on caregivers, allowing them the ability to speak on your behalf and honor your requests without the feeling of not knowing if they are doing what you wanted them to do. When loved ones are left to navigate medical questions on their own, it often leads to feelings of stress, guilt and tension amongst family members. By making your wishes known, your loved ones will feel more comfortable in determining the right path to your medical care and treatment.

If you have quesitons about your medical directive or would like to put one in place, an attorney can tailor an advance directive to your specific needs and wishes. Be mindful of the fact that this document should be provided to those you chose as your caregivers and should travel with you in the event of a hospitalization, easing the stress of an unexpected situation.

If you need assistance in creating an Advanced Medical or other estate documents during these unprecedented times, please don’t hesitate to contact one of experienced Virginia estate lawyers for a one-on-one consultation at (804) 423-1382 or We would like to help.