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A Living Will Can Address Quality of Life Questions

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyersEvery person deserves to have control over the medical care they receive, including that which is provided at or near the end of their lives. Advance medical directives, such as a living will, give you the power to make certain decisions about your end-of-life care in advance, taking into account the possibility that you may not be able to make such decisions if and when they are necessary. Unfortunately, many advance medical directives are open to interpretation which could result in a decreased quality of life and unneeded suffering. There are some things you can do, however, to ensure that medical care is provided in accordance with your wishes, regardless of your condition at the time care is needed.

Death-Delaying Procedures

A living will is used primarily to specify the types of death-delaying procedures that you wish to be provided if you are ever diagnosed with a terminal condition and are unable to make care decisions for yourself. Death-delaying procedures refer to treatments and care that are postponing death in situations where healing or curing the condition is not possible. Such procedures include blood transfusions, artificial respiration, dialysis, and intravenous feeding or medications.

It is relatively easy to check off a list of procedures you do or do not wish to receive, but without the proper direction, it can be difficult for your caregivers or even your power of attorney to know what you consider an acceptable quality of life in such a situation. With that in mind, you may wish to include a quality of life statement with your living will.

Quality of Life Considerations

Any advance medical directive you create should sound like you and reflect what you truly want. Doing so will allow your family members and loved ones to feel confident that they are following your wishes, even if the decisions are difficult. In drafting a quality of life statement, you should consider a number of questions such as:

  • What conditions could I not live with over a long period of time?
  • What do I think a “good death” would be?
  • What do I want in regard to CPR, feeding tubes, or ventilators?
  • How can I reassure the decision maker that he or she is only doing what I have asked?
  • What do I want doctors or medical staff to know about my religious beliefs regarding illness or death?
  • Should I give my family the chance to see me, even I will not know they are there?

It is up to you to set quality of life standards regarding your future medical care, but it is also important to discuss them with your family members. That way, there will be no confusion about what you want and expect them to do for you during a potentially difficult time.

Call Us for Guidance

If you have questions about living wills or creating a quality of life statement, contact an experienced estate planning attorney in Lombard. Call A. Traub & Associates and get the help you need in making decisions for the future.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynmcclanahan/2015/02/04/how-to-ensure-quality-at-the-end-of-life/

http://kindethics.com/2012/01/my-new-quality-of-life-statement-to-attach-to-my-advance-directive/

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