A living will is an instrument that allows you to give detailed instructions to family members and medical personnel if you are mentally or physically incapacitated. Ideally, every person would die naturally and with dignity, but some causes of death don’t allow this outcome. Even the healthiest individuals may find themselves in medical situations where they cannot communicate their consent to their healthcare providers. When this occurs, a living will can mean the difference between your wishes being known, unknown, or disregarded. If you have concerns about these medical decisions, contact David Howard Goldberg, P.L. to discuss your directives and draw up a living will.
Requirements for a Living Will
For a living will to be valid, the subject must be a competent adult. The living will may contain specific directives or designate another person to make them for the incapacitated individual.
Usefulness of a Living Will
Having a living will is particularly useful when a subject expects to be incapacitated at some point. That does not mean, however, that you should only make a living will for foreseen outcomes. Naturally, an individual who is going into surgery or discovers that they have a terminal medical condition should consider having an attorney draft a living will.
By outlining your directives and naming a person you fully trust to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, you can rest assured that you will be cared for according to your wishes. This document can also prevent possible disagreements between physicians and members of your family who may disagree on care. If a doctor refuses to follow the instructions on a living will, they must legally transfer the patient to the care of another health care provider. That is why it is important to consider what you want to include in this document to be perfectly clear and not subject to ambiguous interpretations. An experienced attorney like David Howard Goldberg, P.L. knows the concerns and considerations that his clients typically have when drafting a living will. He can help guide you through the process.
A living will allows you to leave specific instructions regarding the medical care you want to receive should you become terminally ill, develop a debilitating disease such as dementia, or are injured. David Howard Goldberg P. L., living will attorney, will work with you to help clarify your desires and beliefs regarding including them in your living will. This way, you know there will be no guessing games or family disagreements in the future should you be unable to make your own decisions.
Instructions to Include in a Living Will
You can be as detailed as you wish when it comes to the items you want to be included in your living will. It should not only mention what types of care you should receive — or refuse to receive — but it can also include specific instructions regarding, for example, whether you would like a ventilator to be used in your care. This clause has gained importance in recent months due to the number of people who have contracted COVID-19 during the pandemic. A living will would allow you to specify whether or not you would like to remain at home, if you would or would not accept a ventilator, etc.
Also, your living will can detail your wishes regarding:
Food and Water
Many unconscious patients not expected to recover can live for a long time if they receive food and water intravenously. Think about your personal preferences and whether you would want to be kept alive if you were in a comma.
This point refers to your desire to receive medication that would reduce pain, particularly when you would choose to forego treatments to extend your life.
Medical Care to Prolong Your Life
If you should be in a situation in which your mind, body, or both do not work as they should, there are actions that can be taken to prolong your life. Consider whether you would authorize a blood transfusion, CPR, the use of a ventilator, or even surgery, even though it is expected that you might not recover fully.
A Living Will Is Not Only for You
When preparing your living will, it is important to consider your wishes and how the choices you make will impact the people who love you. Your treatment may have a direct impact on their lives. If you decide not to accept food or water, for example, it may be useful to talk about this or other decisions with your loved ones. You don’t want them to receive an additional shock at finding out your instructions on top of having to deal with you in such a delicate situation.
Let your living will attorney from David Howard Goldberg P. L. explain to you the pros and cons of every directive you want to include in your living will. Set up an appointment today so that you can have peace of mind regarding your future.