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Estate Planning - Medical Powers of Attorney/Living Wills

Every person has the right to make his or her own medical treatment decisions. This includes making decisions today about the type of medical treatment you desire if you become unable to communicate your wishes. It provides an express and clear message to your family regarding your desires and relieves them from making difficult medical decisions for you.

A Durable Medical Power of Attorney allows you to state who will make health care treatment decisions for you in the event you become disabled and cannot communicate your wishes. It is a flexible document that allows you (“principal) to appoint someone you know and trust (“agent”) to obtain medical records and make medical care decisions when you are unconscious and unable to communicate.

A Living Will allows you to state what, if any, life prolonging treatment you desire if you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. The Living Will provides express instructions regarding the type of medical treatment you approve of should you be in a terminal condition (a condition that will lead to death in a short period of time) or a state of permanent unconsciousness (being unconscious or in a coma with no hope of waking up). Based upon the current state of medical technology, you can choose to receive or not to receive:

  • cardiac pulmonary resuscitation
  • mechanical respiration
  • tube feeding or any other artificial or invasive form of nutrition or hydration
  • blood or blood products
  • surgery or invasive diagnostic tests
  • kidney dialysis
  • antibiotics

You can also express your wishes regarding donating organs and/or tissue.

To avoid the issues facing families who have unclear information regarding your desires and position on “do not resuscitate” it is critical to obtain a Living Will. I can help you understand what it means and how to express your desires in the clearest way possible.

To contact Attorney Carole Hendrick, call 610-489-0295 or click here.

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