For many, the idea of a severely debilitating illness or injury is unthinkable. However, whether through sudden, unexpected accidents or the onset of hereditary disease or old age, these things do occur. If you were to suddenly become seriously injured or too sick to speak for yourself, who would make medical decisions on your behalf? How would your family members, loved ones, and doctors know your wishes?
By creating a health care directive, you can clearly state how you would like your medical needs to be handled in the event that you cannot communicate them yourself. This not only allows you the peace of mind in knowing that you will be cared for as you wish, it also saves your family members and loved ones from having to make crucial health care decisions on their own.
Interested in speaking with a health care directives lawyer in Fairfax? Contact DiPietro Law Group, PLLC to find out how we can help you create a solid plan for your medical future.
What Does a Health Care Directive Cover?
Health care directives—sometimes called living wills, advanced health care directives, or advanced directives—are legal documents that detail how you would like to be treated medically if you become incapacitated. These instructions provide family members and health care professionals with the information they need to make crucial decisions on your behalf.
Every health care directive is different, depending on the unique desires of each individual. However, in general, health care directives should cover your wishes regarding:
- Resuscitation – Should you be resuscitated if your heart stops beating (via CPR, electric shocks, etc.)?
- Life Support – Do you wish to be placed on life support? If so, how long should you remain on life support? When should life support be terminated?
- Tube Feeding – Do you want intravenous or tube feeding if you are unable to feed yourself? If so, how long should this continue?
- Antibiotic/Antiviral Infection Treatment – Do you wish to have end-of-life infections treated with antibiotics/antiviral medications?
- Hospice Care – Do you want to be placed in hospice care? If so, at what point should you be placed in hospice care? What comfort or palliative care should be given?
- Organ, Tissue & Body Donation – Do you want your body or your organs to be donated after you die? If so, how would you like them to be donated?
Though they can be difficult to think about, these are important things to consider. Having a plan in place can help your family avoid having to make these decisions on your behalf.
Health Care Powers of Attorney
Another key aspect of planning for your future medical treatment is creating a health care power of attorney. This document allows you to name a person who will be in charge of making medical decisions on your behalf. A durable health care power of attorney allows this person to make such decisions in the event that you are incapacitated.
Establishing a health care power of attorney can cover the inevitable gaps left by a health care directive. This allows you to have a solid plan for the unexpected. Contact DiPietro Law Group, PLLC to learn more about creating durable health care powers of attorney.
How to Create a Health Care Directive
In order to be valid, your health care directive must be in writing. You will also want to go over these documents with your family members, loved ones, doctors, and other relevant medical professionals. If you have established a health care agent via a durable health care power of attorney, you will also want to review your health care directive with him/her.
Our firm can help you handle the proper forms and documents in creating your health care directives. If at any point you wish to change or alter your health care directive, we can help you make the necessary modifications. With more than 42 years of combined legal experience, our Fairfax estate planning lawyers understand the various processes involved. We can help you clearly understand all of your options and work to create a plan that is tailored to your particular goals.
Call us or fill out an online contact form to schedule a consultation with one of our health care directives lawyers in Fairfax today.