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Living Wills And End-Of-Life Care

Posted on Mon Jan 14, 2019, on Medical Power of Attorney Living Will

Living Will Lawyer Philadelphia, PA

When you can no longer speak for yourself but wish to be heard, creating a will or an advance directive can be legally binding, written forms of instructions that communicate what you want. Although it can feel as if creating your will or an advance directive is the final step before you say “goodbye,” they are steps toward preparing for your future while you are still alive, ensuring that your voice is heard. If you choose to plan, you can make sure you get the medical care and treatment that you want. Additionally, this can significantly help avoid your loved ones from experiencing suffering if a hospital forces them to make hard decisions regarding your health and life. These legal documents are not just for the elderly. Unfortunately, anyone can face the end of their life sooner than they expected, and it is always best to prepare.

What Is a Living Will?

When you create a living will, you are creating a legally binding document that outlines what kind of treatments you wish to undergo if someone or something incapacitates you. One typical example of this is if you are in a severe car accident that causes your coma. Your living will states whether you would choose to stay on life support or not. Other examples of end-of-life care you should consider in your living will are:

  • Dialysis. This is a treatment you would need if your kidneys cannot function anymore.
  • Resuscitation. A medical professional uses this treatment to restart your heart if it stops beating. You should state if you want someone to restart your heart through CPR or other devices.
  • Tube Feeding. If you are unable to eat or drink on your own, a doctor can provide you with an intravenous tube that supplies you with nutrients and fluids. You should decide if you want this and how long you would want this.

What Are Advance Directives?

Like a living will, you must also write down advance directives, and each state differs on their requirements for how to properly create advance directives. For example, you may need a certain number of witnesses or even a notary. One common example of an advance directive is granting someone medical power of attorney. This person will be responsible for making your medical decisions when you are no longer able to do so. Advance directives can also list:

  • If you want someone to resuscitate you.
  • If you want to donate your organs or tissue.

Unlike a living will, which authorize only certain situations, advance directives (like giving someone power of attorney) may be more helpful in certain situations that you may not have covered in a living will. You can choose to make changes to your directives at any point, but you must do so by creating an entirely new form and destroy any old copies. You should research state laws regarding changing your advance directives.

If you have any questions about whether you should create a living will or an advance directive, please contact a living will lawyer Philadelphia, PA offers at Klenk Law today.


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