Creating A Living Will And Designating A Patient Advocate
With an advance health care directive or health care power of attorney, you can make choices for your own care in case you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. Another useful tool is a living will that elaborates on a potential patient’s treatment preferences and is often used in conjunction with the health care power of attorney. Many families find both types of documents supremely helpful for clarifying someone’s decisions such as whether – or under what conditions – to allow specific medical interventions.
Without an advance health care directive, members of your family could find themselves at odds with each other or with doctors about what kinds of treatment to provide when your vitality is waning and you may be unconscious and possibly unable to breathe unassisted. At Reed Law, PLC, we help individuals and couples make these impactful decisions with a clear understanding of the legal implications.
About Health Care Powers Of Attorney, Proxies And Patient Advocates
If you create an advance health care directive, you will name someone as your proxy through a health care power of attorney. You may also create a living will to go along with the legal document. We will most likely advise you to select a patient advocate, who may be a professional, friend or family member. Our attorneys guide clients through the process of selecting and educating health care proxies as well as selecting a patient advocate. These individuals will provide reassurance and direction regarding your wishes concerning:
- Feeding tubes
- Blood transfusions
- Pain control medications
If we advise you in creating or modifying a health care power of attorney and/or a living will, we will provide valuable information that should enable you to incorporate your values into these powerful documents. Our counsel will take into account medical realities that many people face as well as ethical and ethical considerations in end-of-life care.
Real Scenarios Demonstrating the Role Of Living Wills
Everyone’s end-of-life journey is unique, but qualified professionals can help you and your family members make decisions that align with your values. Your living will can enforceably document your intentions.
For example, you may specify in your living will that you hope to be allowed to die quickly and painlessly if a time comes when doctors say you cannot recover a reasonable quality of life. At the same time, you may want to be sure that no one in your family will be left with the impression that any form of assisted suicide is part of the process. Your explicit instructions can facilitate these and other goals that are important to you.
On the other hand, a living will can specify that you want every conceivable effort to be made to preserve your life if you are in a dire condition, and doctors will then have the go-ahead to do their best to honor those wishes.
A Couple Of Commonly Asked Questions About Living Wills And Patient Advocates
Bring your concerns such as those below to our attention, and we will provide personalized opinions and guidance.
What is the difference between the roles of a health care proxy and a patient advocate?
Your patient advocate will ideally serve as a communication facilitator for everyone involved in your care. Your health care proxy, in contrast, will have the legal power of attorney to articulate your preferred or unwanted treatments. These roles may be carried out by the same person or separate individuals.
What if I made a declaration that I don’t want certain treatments but during a medical crisis I feel differently and express different wishes?
We can help you write your living will in such a way that it specifies if, and how, you can override its provisions if you are judged competent to do so. For example, maybe in your living will, you asked to have no feeding tubes or blood transfusions, but right before surgery, you clearly express the opposite wishes. With clear instructions, your health care proxy and patient advocate can take all the facts into account when it is time to let doctors know whether you wish for them to administer treatments or not.
Let’s Talk About Your Michigan Health Care Directive
We are here to provide the information, guidance and reassurance that you need to create an advance health care directive that reflects your convictions.