If you fall seriously ill, loved ones can often be battling confusion, grief and fear. Under these conditions, it can be incredibly difficult to make decisions regarding a person’s medical care.
To ensure your spouse, children or parents do not wind up in this upsetting position, it is important that you work with an attorney to create legal documents that establish your wishes concerning medical care and treatment.
Types of decisions you can make
There are numerous choices that parties need to make when a person is severely ill. Often, this person cannot express himself or herself, which can leave people in a state of flux. Doctors and family members may not be on the same page when it comes to what should or should not happen for end-of-life care.
Therefore, you can provide critical guidance when it comes to decisions regarding:
- Feeding and hydration through IV or tubes
- Organ donation
- Efforts to restart your heart
- Use of a ventilator
- Pain medication
- Infection management
- Resources for alleviating physical discomfort
People who do not make their wishes known before the need arises can put others in a challenging position.
Imagine someone learning their loved one is gravely ill and then having to be the person who decides which measures to take or not take. This can be incredibly stressful and upsetting, which is why completing some careful planning ahead of time can be a gift.
How to protect your wishes
In order to define and protect your preferences, you can:
- Create a medical durable power of attorney
- Complete advance care directives
- Appoint a medical decision-maker
- Complete HIPAA forms
These legal measures can eliminate the guesswork of end-of-life care and what you would or would not want. Not only can they clearly state your wishes when you cannot express yourself, but they also name one person to make medical decisions should the need arise.
Taking these steps can provide critical relief to your loved ones, which will undoubtedly be welcome during a difficult time.