Being diagnosed with a fatal disease, lapsing into a coma after a serious car accident or being declared brain dead after a swimming accident. These are fairly common occurrences and unfortunately, one that we are not always prepared for. Unfortunately, in many cases, if you have not prepared ahead of time with a living will or medical power of attorney, life-sustaining treatment may be provided to you regardless of what your wishes might be, particularly if you are unable to communicate those wishes to a physician. It is a good idea to have a directive to physicians prepared ahead of time in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself – this includes if you have recently been diagnosed with a potentially fatal condition. Here are some of the common questions about Directives to Physicians:
Do I Need a Directive to Physicians?
It is typically strongly recommended that this order be in place to avoid having life-sustaining treatments foisted upon you if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. While a medical power of attorney will allow someone to make medical decisions on your behalf, they may not be sufficient to prevent extraordinary measures to keep you alive.
Can a Directive be Rescinded?
Yes, as with any legal document, a medical directive can be rescinded by you at any time. These orders allow you to control what medical treatment you will receive or not receive and as such, this is something you always maintain control over.
Can My Family Rescind on My Behalf?
The primary reason to have one of these orders is to ensure your wishes are known to your physician and your family. Unless your family went to court and could prove you placed your wishes in writing under duress or without understanding what you were signing, the directive is carried out per your wishes.
Health care advances have made it possible to keep our bodies alive far beyond the point where we might wish to live. For many, the idea of being kept alive by mechanical means and extraordinary medical measures is frightening and not something we are interesting in having happen. If you know you don’t want extraordinary measures or you have recently been diagnosed with a fatal disease and want to ensure your doctors understand your wishes, contact the Law Office of Anne Marie Sibal at (864) 416-1332 to have a physician’s directive prepared.