Health Care Directives: Strategy and Advantages

Do you have your healthcare directives in order? Health care directives (or advanced care planning) are officially permitted legal papers where you think about what your preferences would be in situations where you’ll be unable to make your own decisions. It is a legal document that will go into effect should you become unable to speak for yourself.  Your loved ones and healthcare providers will know your first-choice decisions. Don’t wait until it is too late. Hire a legal document preparer today at South Florida Legal Doc Prep Services to help you get your affairs in order.  

It is important to note that health care directives are not only for the old and infirm. Anyone can be severely injured in an accident or suddenly become sick due to a medical crisis. Life is unpredictable like that. A legal document specialist can assist in preparing the appropriate documents based upon your instructions an wishes. Here are a few things you should think about and the types of choices there are to make.

Some Healthcare Decisions to Think About

CPR will bring back your heartbeat if your heart stops. Medical personnel will push on your chest to keep your heart beating, all the while putting air into your lungs. CPR will often break a rib or cause a lung to collapse. It can be a traumatic experience and may often not succeed in an older, frail person.

A ventilator is a machine which helps you breathe. First, you must be intubated for the device to force air into your lungs. This involves putting a tube down your throat. This is very uncomfortable, and a doctor will usually sedate a patient on a ventilator. It makes sense to use intubation for a young, healthy person. But, would you really want this if you are old and frail in the last weeks of your life?

Should you, at one stage in your life, become unable to eat, a feeding tube can be inserted through your nose down to your stomach or directly into your stomach. Studies have shown that this does not necessarily prolong life. In fact, artificial nourishment can be harmful to a dying body.

How would you want your suffering relieved at the end of life? Some people limit medical testing and only want to take certain medicines. Some ask for spiritual and emotional guidance. Comfort care can be anything that you’d want it to be.

How Should I Plan My Advanced Care

South Florida Legal Doc Prep Services, LLC can help you. First, you will want to think about your own individual circumstances. Below are just a few things you will want to consider:

  • What your current health outlook is like
  • What health problems run in your family
  • Do you want to live as long as possible, or is the quality of life more important for you
  • Would you want to be on a permanent ventilator should an illness leave you in a coma
  • What is the outcome of life-saving methods for you? Is it okay if you are able afterward to spend time with your family again? What if you are housebound and unable to walk or talk

An advance healthcare directive speaks for you if you are unable to say what your wishes are. Instructions are flexible. You can change it as you get older or as your point of view changes.

What Documents Would I Need?

There are a few documents that are considered a health care directive. The two main types are a living will and a durable power of attorney. Every competent adult has the right to make decisions concerning his or her own health. For more information, feel free to check out the FloridaHealthFinder.gov.

A Living Will

This legal document will outline your wishes about emergency treatments. In your living will, you can specify what you’d want, what you don’t want, and under which conditions your selection applies.

A Durable Power of Attorney

This legal document names someone that you trust to make medical decisions for you if and when you are unable to do so. The person you name must be familiar with your wishes.

It might be restrictive to put too many health care directives in writing. Some people feel it is impossible to plan for every scenario. You can still have a living will, but a durable power of attorney should be designated to someone you trust explicitly to carry out. It is the best option to have both of these documents.

Other advance care planning documents can include:

  • Your final wishes about single medical issues such as blood transfusions or kidney dialysis;
  • You can have a “Do Not Resuscitate” order; and/or
  • Other end-of-life final arrangements such as your feelings about organ donation

The main advantage of a health care directive is that you can say precisely what your wishes are. If you made no plans, the State of Florida (or the State where you reside) would assign someone who will make decisions on your behalf. It will probably be your spouse or your children. It can be a heavy burden on someone who does not know what you would have wanted in a traumatic time.

What South Florida Legal Doc Prep Services Can Do For You?

There are specific legal document requirements that vary between documents and also depending on what State you reside. Failure to follow prerequisites may invalidate your living will, your durable power of attorney, or other advanced care directives. South Florida Legal Doc Prep Services will ensure that your health care directive documents are in proper order.

This blog does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

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