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Why is Personal Autonomy Important?

We all like to be in control of our own destiny. Personal autonomy is the idea of making your own decisions in life – regardless of how others may agree or disagree with your choices. This can apply to any aspect of your life: friendships, careers, living arrangements, religion, medical treatments, etc.

Many people take personal autonomy for granted – especially when they are healthy and living life to the fullest. But what if you were unable to make those decisions for yourself?

None of us like to think about the possibility that life could drastically change. But the truth is that no one knows what the future holds. Disease, injury, trauma – seemingly unfathomable situations could occur that leave you incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. The inability to speak your own thoughts and voice your life choices would effectively remove your personal autonomy temporarily or even permanently.

Protect Your Personal Autonomy

The good news is that you have the ability to put your thoughts about things like medical treatment, lifestyle and overall care into a legal document to prepare for the unexpected. There are a variety of documents that can be included in your estate plan to protect your personal autonomy in the event you become incapacitated:

  • Living will: state your wishes for end-of-life medical care such as mechanical ventilation, tube feeding, dialysis, etc.
  • DNR: Do Not Resuscitate order
  • Medical power of attorney: person you designate to make health care decisions for you and ensure medical personnel follow your wishes
  • Financial power of attorney: person you designate to handle your financial affairs for you and carry out your financial wishes
  • HIPAA authorization: allows your doctors to share your medical information with your loved ones

The Denver estate planning attorneys at The Brown Law Firm, LLC can help you think through these types of situations and help you draft Colorado incapacitation documents to protect your personal autonomy. We can also help you plan for the welfare of your children in case you are unable to care for them. To learn more, please contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online.