Living Wills and Health Care Proxies
Today’s medical technologies have become so sophisticated that there are many ways to prolong life following a catastrophic accident or illness. There are machines that can breathe for us when we can no longer breathe on our own. Our hearts can be restarted mechanically when they stop beating. We can be fed through tubes when we can no longer eat normally. A multitude of surgeries can be performed and drugs can be prescribed that may not necessarily improve our chances for survival, or that may ensure survival but without the physical capacities that make our lives worth living. These advances in medical technology make it more important than ever that everyone – even young, healthy individuals – make provisions for a possible medical catastrophe.
There may come a time, at some point in the future, when you will want to refuse medical treatment. However, what will happen if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes to your medical care providers? Planning now will help your family and loved ones make the most difficult decisions when the time comes.
A Living Will provides written instructions to medical care providers as to what end-of-life medical treatments you wish to receive or decline. A Health Care Proxy appoints a trusted individual to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to make them for yourself. Even if you already have a Living Will, it is prudent also to have a Health Care Proxy because there is no way to predict what new medical technologies may be developed in the future, and these new techniques or procedures may not be provided for in your Living Will.
Living Wills and Health Care Proxies are relatively simple documents, but they must contain specific provisions to make them effective. The attorneys at the law offices of John N. Fath, P.C. will work with you to ensure that your Living Will and Health Care Proxy are properly and legally drawn up.
Call or email us today to discuss how we can help you provide this vital information to your loved ones and medical providers.