Category: Advanced Directives

The Importance of Healthcare Directives

Every American remembers the story of Terri Schiavo and the heartache that came with it. In case you didn’t follow up with this unfortunate tale, Terri was a young woman whose heart stopped at the age 25 but who was kept alive by machines for fifteen years. It was because her husband and parents couldn’t agree on what she would’ve wanted – to die peacefully or kept alive artificially. Had Terri had a health care directive, none of this would’ve happened.

If you are in a position where you want to secure yourself against situations like these but aren’t quite sure you know and understand how, here are a few questions answered to help you out:

What Is an Advance Health Care Directive?

An advance health care directive is a document directive naming an agent to make health care decisions for you in case you are not in the position to do so, i.e., are unable to. The agent can be anyone from an immediate family member, or a close relative, or to a neighbor you trust. A health care directive is a combination of a living will and a power of attorney for health care. The person entrusted with this role is the person who speaks to the doctors in case something happens to you.

How to Choose an Appropriate, Trustworthy Agent?

Choosing your health care agent isn’t a decision that should be made on impulse.  What is more, you want to select someone who is capable – both emotionally and morally – of making the most difficult decisions in your name, such as being or not kept alive under certain circumstances.

Do not feel obligated to name your parents or your spouse as your agent. Likewise, if you are the person being named whether by your spouse or someone else close to you, but you don’t feel comfortable being entrusted with a role of this magnitude, communicate your concerns and ask to be unnamed as a health care directive agent. Explain why you don’t feel okay with this role and encourage them to pick someone else who can handle a situation this serious.

What Are Other Provisions That Might Be Included in an Advance Health Care Directive?

Apart from being a legal document entrusting another person with a decision whether or not you should be kept alive, an advance health care directive is also enabling you to make your very detailed and specific end-of-life decisions known. It covers matters from whether or not you would want palliative care even if the dosage necessary to alleviate the pain speeds death. It also refers to the issues concerning your potential organ donation, autopsies, your place of burial and everything involved, along with everything else you may find relevant. An advance health care document is allowing for a virtually limitless number of options to specifically direct anything and everything concerning your wishes in case of your death.

Whether you are in a situation where you need to be thinking about your death, or you want to be responsible, getting a health care directive is the best thing you can do – for both yourself and your loved ones. Platinum Paralegals offers legal advice on any documentation you need, so don’t hesitate to talk to us about this matter.

Health Care Directive vs Living Will

Unexpected life threatening events happen all the time and are sometimes unavoidable. Some of these events leave us unconscious with no ability to speak. If this occurrence were to happen to you, wouldn’t you want a say in your course of treatment. Especially if it contradicted your view on what a quality life is. These documents called Advanced Health Care Directives, serve as a record of your medical preference, and help prevent anger or anxiety of loved ones having to grant your medical wish for you.

What Are Advanced Health Care Directives?

Advanced health care directives are fundamental documents that instruct your doctor or health care provider what kind of health care you do or do not want when you are unable to tell them yourself. These documents provide relief of decision making burdens to not only the caregivers, but also any people that care about your health and welfare. There are two main types of advanced directives, living will and medical power of attorney. It’s important for all adults to prepare for these documents because unexpected medical life situations can happen at any age at anytime.

These documents provide relief of decision making burdens to not only the caregivers, but also any people that care about your health and welfare.

 

What Is a Living Will?

A living will falls under the category of advance directives and spells out the type of medical care you wish to receive or don’t wish to receive when you are unresponsive. This will ensures your medical wishes are honored. Topics on resuscitation, quality of life, and end of life treatments should be written in this document so your doctor knows how to approach your treatment.

It’s important to go into specifics about your values and to address a number of different end-of- life situations realizing you can’t account for every possibility. Without a living will, doctors may ask a family member how to advance in your care and are legally obligated to perform procedures that you may not wish to have.

What Is a Health Care Power of Attorney?

A healthcare power of attorney is appointed to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you can’t communicate on your own. The appointed health care agent becomes your spokesman and advocate for the range of medical treatments you set out in your documents. This document can also be referred to as a health care proxy, appointment of a health care agent or durable power of attorney for healthcare.

This person should understand your quality of life and medical goals so they can carry out decisions with your feelings and values in mind. It’s very important to name an alternate agent incase the primary agent is not available, especially in a life threatening emergency.

Writing a Health Care Directive

To prepare your health care directive, you will need to follow these important steps:

  1. Get the living will and medical power of attorney forms for your state. Generally doctors will respect your wishes if you have a form from a different state.
  2. Choose a health care agent that you trust to make decisions for you and who understands all of your wishes. It is a good idea to appoint a alternative person as your agent if the 1st person is unwilling or unable to make decisions on your behalf.
  3. After filling out the forms, have them witnessed as your state requires.
  4. Give copies to your doctor, health care agent, and your family. Incase you need to modify or revoke the advcanded directive, note on the  advanced health care directive itself who you gave copies to.

If you find yourself in need of a health care directive, Platinum Paralegals can help. Get excellent legal advice for a fraction of the cost of an attorney’s fee. Platinum Paragels will call you back faster than an attorney who spends most their time in a courtroom. If you are seeking general advice about health care directives, get in touch with us via phone or web form today!

 

Advance Directives in California

One of the most important decisions you will ever need to make concerns your future health. Have you thought about whom you would entrust to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so yourself?

It is exactly this subject that is legally addressed in a document known as an advance healthcare directive, also known as an advance directive California.

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WHY GET AN ADVANCE DIRECTIVE?

Many of us can procrastinate endlessly when it comes to making crucial decisions that affect us and our families, particularly when they involve medical issues. Sadly, failing to take the time to complete advance directives California can lead to a great deal of needless confusion and stress in the future when you are in the midst of a medical crisis.

Failing to take the time to complete an advance directive can lead to a great deal of needless confusion and stress in the future when you are in the midst of a medical crisis.

On the other hand, if you have already completed the legal document and handed it out to your medical care team, your specific desires and wishes can be followed exactly according to your specifications. In short, simple advance directives in California make an incredibly difficult time in your life much easier.

BENEFITS OF ADVANCE DIRECTIVES

Your advance directive California can contain three important parts. You can complete Part 1, Part 2 or both and must always complete Part 3.

First, you will choose the person you will entrust to make your medical decisions for you in the event that you are too ill or incapacitated to make them yourself. Making this choice ahead of time ensures that you have the time to give careful consideration in selecting the best candidate for this important job.

Second, your advance directives California will specify exactly how you want to be cared for. You can agree to, change or say no to who treats you, where you get treatment or where you live, medications and treatments, organ donation and life support.

Finally, you must sign the form and also have it signed by either two witnesses or a notary public.

ADVANCE DIRECTIVE STORIES

When Rick became a father for the first time, he recognized that he wanted to make his healthcare wishes crystal clear to ensure that his wife or eventually his child would know exactly what he wanted them to do in the event that he experienced a health crisis and could not make decisions for himself.

Advance Directives in California
Plan ahead, that way your loved ones don’t have to suffer the consequences.

With the help of Platinum Paralegals, he completed the advance directive California form and distributed copies to his primary care physician and to the person he had chosen to represent him. Two years later, Rick was involved in a serious construction accident on his job that rendered him unconscious and comatose. For almost a week, Rick was unable to understand what was said to him as he lay fighting for his life. Fortunately, his family and his physicians had no doubt as to his wishes because he had taken the time to complete a health care directive form. As a result, Rick received exactly the type and extent of treatment he had specified.

At around her 80th birthday, Emma started getting lost. She would get in her car and drive a few miles, only to forget where she had planned on going. Several times, she got totally lost in her own neighborhood. Suspecting dementia, her family took her to a gerontologist who diagnosed her with probable Alzheimer’s disease. The condition gradually took its toll on Emma’s memory and ability to function, but because she had completed simple advance directives in California when she was mentally competent, all of her medical decisions were made by the representative of her choice. “It gives us a certain peace of mind knowing that we are doing what Mom wants us to do in terms of her medical care,” her daughter explained. “It’s amazing what one piece of paper can actually do.”

“It gives us a certain peace of mind knowing that we are doing what Mom wants us to do in terms of her medical care,” her daughter explained. “It’s amazing what one piece of paper can actually do.”

Don’t wait until you’re in the middle of a medical crisis to think about your healthcare options. Contact the experts at Platinum Paralegal today, and you’ll find out just how simple this crucial process is to complete.

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Should You Get an Advance Health Care Directive

Should You Get an Advance Health Care Directive?

When serious illness or emergencies strike, it’s important to feel that you have a trusted friend or acquaintance who has your back in these situations. If you’re in an accident or suffer a medical emergency that leaves you unable to make vital health care decisions for yourself, you can consider placing someone else in charge of this important task.

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Having a California advance health care directive in place before an emergency can provide you with a great deal of peace of mind and preparedness. CA advance directives are recognized as a legally binding document by doctors, emergency medical personnel, attorneys, and anyone else who may be involved in your care.

What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

A California advance health care directive is a legally valid document that allows you to appoint someone you trust to handle important medical decisions involving your care should you become incapacitated in some form. The individual you place in charge of your care could be a close friend, family member, clergy member at your church, or any other individual you would trust to make these decisions on your behalf.

Why You Should Get an Advance Health Care Directive

No one likes to think about being in a vulnerable position where they cannot speak up for themselves and the protection of their rights and wishes. However difficult it is to think about, these types of emergencies do sometimes occur. The best thing that any individual can do is to be prepared for such an event before it happens.

The best thing that any individual can do is to be prepared for such an event before it happens.

Medical directives can provide the level of protection that can give you much-needed peace of mind that your wishes will always be carried out.

Benefits of Getting an Advance Health Care Directive

Attempting to make emergency medical or end of life decisions for a loved one or family member is a very stressful event. Wondering if you’re fulfilling this person’s wishes in the way he or she would have wanted can cause heart-wrenching pain and stress. Medical directives can provide several benefits that protect everyone involved in the situation. The three main benefits are listed below.

Reduce Conflict among Family Members

Sometimes in the stress of a medical emergency, family members can disagree on how certain decisions are handled. If the individual has made his wishes crystal clear in writing with a medical directive, there can be no doubt about the way things should be taken care of. This can reduce friction between friends and family members who may see things differently than you do.

Provide Peace of Mind

There’s no greater peace of mind than knowing a trusted person is in charge of your care should you become incapacitated in some manner. Thinking of being left in a vulnerable state is enough to strike fear into the hearts of the toughest individuals.

Thinking of being left in a vulnerable state is enough to strike fear into the hearts of the toughest individuals.

We have specific values and beliefs that we hold dear, and it’s important that our health care is carried out in a way that corresponds to these personal values. A medical directive can provide the reassurance that will allow you to take this burden off your mind.

Keep Stress to a Minimum

There is already enough stress surrounding emergency situations. No one needs the added stress of wondering if they’re making the right choices concerning another individual’s care. Planning for emergencies before they occur can help keep an already stressful time from becoming too much to bear.

How to Get an Advance Health Care Directive

None of us know when we may be in an accident or suffer a medical emergency that leaves us unable to make important decisions regarding our health care on our own. It makes sense, therefore, to obtain a California advance directive before an emergency situation arises.

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California advance directives are recognized by medical professionals, attorneys, and hospice officials as a legally binding document that affords you the peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out even if you are not in a physical or mental state to voice them. A qualified legal professional can help you finalize your CA advance directive so that you have the peace of mind that you’re prepared for any medical emergencies that may arise in the future.

Find this information useful? Take a look at Advance Directives vs. Living Wills.

 

Advance Directives vs. Living Wills

Advance Directives vs. Living Wills

Nothing can be more important than planning for the future. This includes making wise choices when it comes to planning for unforeseen occurrences. DPAs and living wills can both be beneficial contracts in the process of preparing for unforeseen events that sometimes occur.

What are DPAs and living wills? What are the pros and cons of advance directives vs living will? We will tackle the answers to these important questions below.

 

Pros of an Advance Directive

In some areas, this is also referred to as a Durable Power of Attorney or health care proxy. This is referring to placing another individual in charge of your medical decisions should you be in a state where you cannot speak for yourself. The main pro of a DPA is that you can ensure your wishes are met if you choose an individual that you trust to honor them in the right way.

Cons of an Advance Directive

There have been cases where the person put in charge of another individual’s end-of-life decisions did not honor them according to plan. This is not normally done with ill intent. However, if you place a close family member in charge of such a monumental task, sometimes emotions run high in devastating situations. It’s important to choose someone you fully trust to carry out your wishes no matter how difficult they may be to fulfill.

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In conclusion, planning for the future includes the important task of preparing for unforeseen events that can come up. Considering the pros and cons of advance directives vs living will can help you decide which option is best suited for your personal needs and wishes. Both provide benefits that will allow you to handle important medical matters during times of stress. Platinum Paralegals is here to assist you with making the best choice for you and your family’s needs. Contact us if you need help choosing between these two options for your emergency and end-of-life medical treatment options.

Pros of a Living Will

A living will is a legal document that specifies an individual’s choices for medical treatment in circumstances where they may not be in a position to provide informed consent to have specific procedures performed. A living will can provide your medical team with important information regarding your choices on topics such as resuscitation, artificial ventilation, dialysis, feeding tubes, organ donation, and palliative care.

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The main benefit of a living will is ensuring that your wishes are carried out at a time when you cannot speak for yourself. When your personal values, religious beliefs, or other important philosophies impact your opinions on serious emergency medical care, you want your wishes to be honored. A living will can provide you with the peace of mind that your desires will be met regardless of your physical and mental state at the time.

A living will can provide you with the peace of mind that your desires will be met regardless of your physical and mental state at the time.

Cons of a Living Will

At times, vague terms can be used in the legal jargon making up a living will. For example, if you specify that you don’t want heroic means to be taken to save your life in the case of a medical emergency, you must understand that the term heroic can mean different things to different people.

Therefore, you will need to meet with a qualified legal professional with a great deal of experience in creating legal wills. It may require multiple meetings to ensure your desires are articulated in a clear manner so that the wording in the living will can reflect your true wishes. It may also be beneficial for you to have a durable power of attorney in place who can ensure your wishes are met in the manner you outlined in your legal documents.