Category Archives: advanced directives

Do you need a living will?

A Living will is different then power of attorney, anything that has to do with your finances, it is foremost taking your wishes as to your health care and not putting this decision on loved ones.

A living will is a document explaining whether or not you want to be on life support if you fall terminally ill and will die shortly without life support, or into an irreversible coma or persistent vegetative state. Unlike last wills, they have nothing to do with property division after your death. Rather, they state that you do (or do not) want artificial life support if either:
you become terminally ill and will die shortly without life support; or
you fall into an irreversible coma or persistent vegetative state.
A living will also lets you make decisions about whether or not you want to receive pain medication or artificial nutrition, and allows you to list other special instructions for your care. For example, some people may want to remain on life support only for a limited time period.
Make your health care decisions clear with a living will. CREATE A LIVING WILL give you permission to make and control your own health care with out leaving the responsibility up to your loved ones.

a couple of suggestions might be, Do you want a Full Code. Full Code means you want every measure taken to keep you alive, even if that means resuscitation, CPR, live support living through a machine to keep you alive. You can also put how much times you would like to remain in this state or stipulate if you want life support depending on certain circumstances but keep in mind every Doctor has his own idea of quality of life, your rate of survival, there own religious beliefs, so remember when you make these decisions they must be clear.

The other most common is DNR, Do Not Resuscitate. This means if you are dying, having a heart attack or any other issue, they will not try to bring you back to life. They have no choice but to let you die.

I was also made aware you can now add specifics to your living will such as Resuscitate only with medications, CPT but no life support. They have a lot of different abbreviations, so its in the patients best interest to be clear on how you want your final days spent.

One other thing, I found out about was no legal decisions can be signed with a attorney in the hospital. Such as a legal attorney can not come in and fill out documents while you are in hospital, but yes should be done before your hospital stay and must be notarized. If you have not completed these papers before admission, the hospital will provide you with a social worker and a team to make your advanced directives and they have a notary to make it official. But again your attorney can not enter the hospital and change papers, create papers under any circumstances under the walls of the hospital they will be considered null and void. So its your best interest to do this a head of time. Make sure you have it notarized or the papers will not make a difference.

Another reason to have this done ahead of time, as we age our cognitive thinking ect deteriorate and If you are given a cognitive test and phycological evaluation they may find you unfit to make your own decisions. Again another reason to have paper work done pre illness.

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