Advanced Healthcare Directives Can Answer Many Questions
Your medical care expectation can be laid out as you see fit to accommodate
a variety of circumstances. For example, you may wish to receive a certain
treatment during the late stages of Alzheimer’s Disease than you
might if you suffered a stroke. You can draw important distinctions to
specify your wishes with Advanced Healthcare Directives and Power of Attorney
documents prepared by The Browne Firm in Westchester County.
We can help you answer many questions you may have never even considered,
such as the following:
- When should doctors focus on your comfort instead of preserving your life?
- Will you be an organ donor when you die?
- Should you be put on a ventilator to help you breathe?
- Can doctors attempt to restart your heart?
- Will medical devices help you swallow or eat?
- Will antibiotics or other drugs be used if you have a terminally ill condition?
Typically intended to cover terminal conditions, a living will tells the
doctors whether or not they should provide medical intervention to preserve
your life if you’re unable to communicate such decisions.
Importantly, anything not specifically addressed by your living will can
be interpreted by your doctor. In this case, your family members would
have no legal standing to challenge the doctor’s treatment. While
this may be a downside of a living will for some, others with family members
whose beliefs or values differ greatly from their own may prefer a doctor's
Health Care Proxy
This document designates someone you trust as an agent to make medical
care decisions on your behalf. They can go into effect on a temporary
or permanent basis. This differs from a living will in that you do not
have to be terminally ill for it to go into effect. Creating such a requirement,
however, is possible.
Selecting your agent is serious because this person will have the authority
to make life-or-death decisions on your behalf. You should be sure that
you can trust them and that they are willing and able to accept this responsibility.
You will also want to discuss your values, wishes, or instructions for
medical care in-depth with whomever you choose as your agent. Consulting
with an attorney in Mt. Vernon can prepare you for assigning someone as
your agent in a Health Care Proxy.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney designates an agent to make important financial decisions
for you, should you be medically incapacitated, if you cannot be present,
or if you are otherwise unable to make these decisions for yourself. You,
as the principal, grants authority to an agent to make various financial
decisions, including those involving real property, banking, insurance,
tax matters, and more. The terms of the Power of Attorney can be as broad
or a limited as you wish. This document is an important tool in the case
of physical or mental incapacity, such as due to Alzheimer's disease,
a coma, or other serious mental or physical illness when a physician certifies
that the principal is unable to make decisions.
A Combined Approach
Our attorney in Westchester County can take a combined approach to plan
the course of your medical care. Although you can specify your treatment
in a Health Care Proxy, backing it up with a living will can provide a
more detailed plan for your medical treatment. Moreover, having a living
will in place can matter should your Health Care Proxy agent die or become
incapacitated before you can designate someone else.
For more information about Advanced Healthcare Directives in Westchester
County or to plan your own,
contact The Browne Firm today by calling