On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Wednesday August 10th, 2022.
Living wills and other advance directives are legally binding documents that outline your preferences for medical treatment if you become incapacitated.
Advanced directives are not only for those in their advanced years. All people should create these documents since unexpected end-of-life circumstances might occur at any age.
By making arrangements in advance, you can receive the medical treatment you desire and prevent needless suffering. The document also frees up caregivers from the pressure of making decisions during trying or grievous times.
What Can Go In a Living Will
Be specific about your wishes for medical procedures while drafting your living will. Take into account your options for each of the following:
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): using a defibrillator or someone performing chest compressions to restart your heart.
Life Support: maintaining your life through artificial nutrition, hydration, medicine administration, and ventilator support.
Mechanical Ventilation: a device that takes over breathing by supplying the lungs with air.
Artificial Nutritional Feeding: a tube that extends into the stomach and delivers nutrients.
Dialysis: a process where blood is cleansed by passing through a machine.
Intravenous: injections of medication, antibiotics, or antivirals using a tube or needle into the veins.
End-of-Life/Palliative Care: Healthcare professionals can manage your pain to make you comfortable while respecting your preferences for medical treatment, such as avoiding intrusive procedures.
Organ Donation: You must be briefly put on life support if you choose to donate your organs. You will need to obtain an exemption for the organ transplant operation if you decide not to be put on life support.
What You Can’t Include in Your Living Will
You need a few things in conjunction with your living will, but they are not included as part of it.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR): Although you might have said in your living will whether you wish to be revived, a DNR is a particular directive that a doctor must write and sign.
Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (OLST): An OLST is primarily used for those who have been told they have a severe or fatal illness, are elderly, or both.
Health Care Proxy: A Health Care Proxy or other Medical Power of Attorney document must be used to designate the person you want to act as your Health Care Proxy (also known as a Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Health Care Representative) to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.