Jun 5 2012

Why Should Young People Care About Advance Directives?

Why should young people care about advance medical directives?

An advance medical directive is a way for an adult to tell family and medical providers the kinds of treatments s/he would want in an emergency and to tell everyone who will speak for them in case they’re unable to speak for themselves.

Most of the time, we think that these are the kinds of decisions only older adults need to care about.

But, the way we see it, there are three good reasons for young people to care about them, too.

Help Your Family - Young people help their parents and grandparents to do things that are good for them all the time. How many have helped their parents or grandparents quit smoking? Gotten them to exercise? Taught them how to use computers and smartphones?


Fact is, young people often take the lead in helping their families live in the new digital age.

And now that there’s a free online universal Advance Digital Directive™ (uADD™) available at, young people can make sure their parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents let everyone know their end-of-life care wishes.

Help Society – Everywhere we look today, young people are leading social change. Two of the most important changes we’ve seen in America in the last 20 years have largely been the result of young people’s actions: recycling and seat belt usage.

Americans used to throw everything “away.” Then came the rising energy costs of the 70s. Enter recycling. At first, nobody recycled. But, once young people started learning about energy and the environment, recycling soared. Kids just weren’t going to let their parents throw stuff away that could be reused. Young people led, everybody benefitted.

Seat belts are another example. Gen X and Millennial children were raised in seat belted car seats. Highway fatalities plummeted. Yes, there were laws, but kids were there every day, making sure their parents buckled up. Once again, young people led, everybody benefitted.

Now we have both soaring healthcare costs and thousands of people dying in ways they would never have chosen.

One expert calls this, “dying badly.”

What’s dying badly? Studies show that while most people would prefer to live out their final days at home, surrounded by loved ones and kept comfortable by palliative care specialists, up to 75% of Americans die in a hospital. And, roughly 20% die in an Intensive Care Unit, getting treatments and procedures that can’t possibly help them.

Why? Because it’s the way things have been done for the last 50 years, “the path of least resistance.”

The cost? In 2010, the government spent over $50 billion for the last two months of end-of-life care for Medicare patients.

Something has to change.

Why can’t young people lead the way again, so everybody can benefit?

Help Yourself – It’s hard for any of us to think about our own death. It might be hardest for young people. Statistics say that this year over 25,000 people between  15 and 34 will die of accidental injuries. Many will receive medical care that does nothing to prolong their lives. Very few will have advance directives.

Why? One reason is that, until MyDirectives, there wasn’t a free, simple, secure way for anyone to complete a uADD™.

Young people now have a way to help their families, help society and help themselves by being taking the lead in spreading the word about this important social movement.

Why not start by creating your own advance directive and then make sure that everyone you know has created one, too?


Advance Directives Advance Medical Directives Millennials

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