Advanced Directives and Living Wills
As individuals age, it’s likely that they will hear the terms advanced directive or living will. In some cases, however, a younger person might be asked if they have an advanced directive prior to a surgery. Even so, these written instructions are mostly associated with those that are terminally ill or in a coma, or for those that are near the end of their life. Though it’s not easy for the younger population to discuss, it’s wise to consider specific instructions regarding your body and/or special requests in the event that a tragic circumstance leaves you unable to make choices for yourself. After all, unexpected situations can happen to anyone at anytime.
In regards to an advanced directive, the Mayo Clinic explains that by planning ahead, individuals can ensure that they get the medical care they want, avoid unnecessary suffering and relieve caregivers of decision-making burdens during moments of crisis or grief. What’s more, it can reduce confusion among family members and others that might be conflicted about how to care for a loved one. A type of advanced directive is a Power of Attorney. This involves appointing a person to make decisions on your behalf. The person could be a spouse, close family member, friend or a member of a group or community that a person trusts.
A legal document specifying the type of medical care that one does and does not prefer is a living will. This includes an individual’s viewpoint and feelings regarding pain management and organ donation. In addition, a living will addresses a person’s wishes towards extending his or her life. In drafting a living will, a person must ask themselves, do I wish to be resuscitated in the event that my heart stops beating? If I were placed on a mechanical ventilator, how long would I want to remain on the ventilator? If I become forced to undergo tube feeding, how long would I want to be fed that way? Do I want to receive dialysis? Do I prefer to die at home? What tests do I wish to avoid?
Though a conversation regarding an advanced directive or living will might seem grim, it can be a gift to family members and friends when unsuspected circumstances arise.
A trusted attorney in Decatur, GA, Robert Turner of Turner Law can quickly and proficiently draft an advanced healthcare directive or living will, as well as review existing documents if needed. Because an advanced directive and living will perform slightly different functions, Mr. Turner is more than willing to help individuals understand these and make the best choice moving forward. For a complimentary consultation, call Turner Law today.
Posted on the behalf of Turner Law, LLC