One of the greatest gifts that you can give your family and yourself are Advance Directives -- especially a Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney.
These documents permit you to affirm your wishes as to who will make medical decisions for you when you are not able and what type and degree of medical treatment, if any, you wish to have administered at the end of your life.
Advance Directives guide your medical care and treatment in two ways:
1. Naming an agent or proxy — You have the opportunity to appoint someone to speak for you if you can't speak for yourself. This representative, who might be a spouse, partner, other family member or good friend will have the legal authority to act on your behalf in health care matters.
2. Spelling out what care you want — and don't want — if you have an irreversible, life-threatening condition.
It was recently brought home to us just how important Advance Directives can be. We received a call from a woman named Becky, whose partner, Jean, while working in the garden, suffered a massive hemorrhage in her brain and lapsed into a coma. There was no reasonable probability of improvement in Jean’s condition, and her family met with her doctor to discuss options regarding end-of-life medical treatment. Around Jean’s bedside were her partner, two sisters and a brother. Each was painfully conflicted as to how aggressively the medical staff should work to sustain Jean’s life at this point. The siblings and Becky disagreed on what Jean would have wanted.
An argument ensued as Becky explained that Jean told her repeatedly over the 28 years they were together that she did not want extraordinary measures taken if she were ever in a vegetative state with no chance of recovery. Jean’s family responded by saying – for religious reasons – they disagreed and felt Jean would have wanted to be kept alive artificially, if necessary.
Than night, Becky went back to the house and began searching through drawers for legal documents she vaguely recalled signing with Jean years earlier. Luckily, in a desk drawer, Becky found the free Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney the couple had obtained from Rainbow Law. The Medical Power of Attorney directed that medical decisions be made by Becky and the Living Will declared that Jean – if ever there was no hope of recovery -- did not want artificial hydration, or tube feeding, or breathing and kidney machines. These Advance Directives provided tremendous relief for Becky and her brother and sisters, since they now knew how to act in accordance with Jean's wishes.
Please take time to order FREE Advance Directives today. No one knows what tomorrow may bring.