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Why You Should Consider Advance Healthcare Directives

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard advance medical directive attorneysAlthough it has been nearly 13 years since she passed away, many people still remember the name Teri Schiavo from the famous right-to-die legal case which spanned from 1990 to 2005. Schiavo was only 26 years old when she suffered cardiac arrest which left her in a persistent vegetative state. Although the young woman was alive, doctors explained that she would probably never gain full consciousness.

Schiavo’s husband felt that his wife would not have wanted to be kept alive through machines and fed through feeding tubes and requested that his wife have her feeding tube removed. The woman’s parents fervently disagreed with this plan and battled in court to keep their daughter alive. The case sparked increased interest in advance directive measures that allow a person to ensure their wishes regarding medical treatment will be followed in the event they are incapacitated.

Half of Elderly Hospital Patients Unable to Communicate Wishes

Have you ever considered what medical measures you would or would not want taken if you were severely injured or ill? Although it can be an uncomfortable topic, everyone should take the time to decide what types of medical intervention they would hypothetically be comfortable with receiving in the event that they could not make the decision themselves. Studies show that half of people 65 and older who are hospitalized are unable to speak for themselves. Advance directives allow you to make an informed decision about healthcare initiatives before the time comes to use them.

Health Care Proxy or Durable Power of Attorney

A health care proxy is sometimes called a health care agent or durable power of attorney for health care. A health care proxy is a person designated by another to make healthcare decisions on their behalf should they be unable to make the decision themselves. Many people choose family members or close friends to be their proxy.

Living Will

A living will is a somewhat misleading term because a living will is quite different than a last will and testament. A living will is a document that states a person's wishes regarding medical treatment in the event that he or she is diagnosed with a terminal condition and cannot communicate these instructions due to the condition, permanent unconsciousness, or any other incapacitating factors. Some individuals choose to use a living will because they do not wish to ever be kept alive through artificial life support or other advanced medical practices. Other people use a living will to instruct doctors on the use of tube feeding, organ donation and resuscitation. A valid living will is legally binding and once they are aware of it, healthcare professionals must follow the directions within it.

For Help With Advance Healthcare Directives, Call A. Traub & Associates

If you wish to create an advance directive or other type of estate planning document, the experienced Lombard estate planning attorneys at A. Traub & Associates are ready to help. Call us at 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/look-back-in-history-terri-schiavo-death/

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/advance-care-planning-healthcare-directives

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