Facing End-of-Life Wishes Head-On
April 2nd, 2018
When an unexpected and life-threatening medical event occurs, your loved ones typically will take all steps necessary to get you the medical treatment that you need. As you approach the end of your life, however, whether it is through advanced age, illness, or injury, you should take the time to determine what medical treatment you want, and what you don’t want, which often can be at odds with the wishes of your loved ones. This is one reason why it is so essential that you make these decisions well in advance of when you actually need them to be made, and ensure that both your loved ones and your medical providers are informed of your wishes. If you don’t make these decisions for yourself in advance, then a loved one or even medical personnel may end up making the decisions for you, which may directly contradict what you really want to happen with your medical care.
Perhaps the most effective way to clearly communicate your end-of-life wishes is to execute a power of attorney for health care, which also is referred to sometimes as an advance directive. In this document, you can choose a person to make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated to the point that you no longer can make those decisions for yourself. You also can designate certain medical treatments that you do not want to receive in certain situations, such as mechanical breathing, artificial nutrition, or even CPR. A medical power of attorney allows you to make certain decisions about medical treatment when you are no longer able to express those wishes directly to your loved ones or medical providers.
Discussing end-of-life choices and making decisions about your care is an essential step in ensuring that your wishes are carried out. Having these legal documents in place before you ever need to use them is the best way to express your preferences about end-of-life care and communicate them to your family and doctors. If you or a loved one is in this situation, we have the knowledge and resources to assist you. Call Legacy Law Center today and learn how our Michigan estate planning attorneys can advocate on your behalf.