Control Your End of Life Medical Treatment
Dallas, Texas Advance Directive Attorneys
Because many people have differing beliefs regarding end-of-life medical treatments, the law has provided a method of making a declaration to your doctor about your desire to receive certain treatments that are designed to mechanically keep you alive. Such treatments include (but may not be limited to) things like: mechanical ventilation, tube feeding or hydration, dialysis, etc. If you wish to maintain control and make your wishes known, you should consider executing an Advance Directive to Physicians.
What Should an Advance Directive Address?
An Advance Directive can be as simple or comprehensive as you wish. Most people create them in order to maintain control of end-of-life medical treatment and to relieve the burden of making tough decisions from loved ones. Major medical decisions that can be addressed in such document include, but are not limited to:
- Hydration & Nutrition – Decide if, when, and for how long you would want to rely on tube feeding to sustain your life.
- Dialysis – A machine that removes waste from your blood and manages fluid levels when your kidneys cease to function. Again, decide how long you’d like to receive this treatment if necessary.
- Comfort Care (Palliative Care) – This includes any number of interventions that may be used to keep you comfortable and manage pain. This may include your wish to die at home, getting pain medications, and avoiding invasive tests or treatments.
Organ and Tissue Donations – Transplants can be specified in your living will. If your organs are removed for donation, you will be kept on life-sustaining treatment until the procedure is complete. Stating your understanding of this temporary intervention can be helpful. (keep for living will section?)
Get Professional Help Creating Your Advance Directive
An experienced estate planning lawyer can ensure you get an advance directive that will that will stand up in court and give you peace of mind. You can certainly create one on your own, but getting the assistance of an experienced estate attorney will speed up the process and ensure everything is written and signed off on according to the law.
Creating Your Advance Directive to Physicians
Your Advanced Directive needs to be in writing. Every state has different forms and requirements for creating such legal documents. Getting an attorney to help you navigate the process can be helpful and save you time. After your living will is created, review it with your doctor. After creation and review, you should:
- Keep the original document in a safe but easily accessible place
- Give a copy to your doctor
- Give a copy to your health care agent or any alternate agents
- Keep a record of who has your advanced directives
- Brief family members about your health care wishes
- Keep a wallet-sized card indicating you have an advanced directive
- Carry a copy with you while traveling
Frequently Asked Questions
A healthcare agent is a person you name in your emergency, critical, and advance care plan to make medical treatment decisions for you if you become too sick or injured to make or communicate those decisions.
The specific situations in which your Advance Directive will take effect are outlined in the document. First, in a situation where you are terminally ill and expected to die within 6 months or [INSERT OTHER SCENARIO FROM DOCS].
Anyone who is at least 18 years old and of “sound mind” can create an Advance Directive.
Your living will remains effective as long as you’re alive unless you intentionally revoke it or the courts overrule it (a very rare scenario).