Have A Living Will by: David
G. Hallstrom, Sr. According
to information provided by http://www.plan-my-estate.com
an an estate planning and asset protection resource web
site, a living will, known in most states as a Directive
to Physicians or Healthcare Directive, sets out your
wishes about what extended medical treatment should be
withheld or provided if you become unable to communicate
those wishes. The directive creates a contract with the
attending doctor. Once the doctor receives a properly
signed and witnessed directive, he or she is under a duty
either to honor its instructions or to make sure you are
transferred to the care of another doctor who will.
There is an old saying, "nothing is sure in life
except death and taxes". Whether you like it or not,
someday you will die. How you die and how it effects the
people you leave behind can be affected by whether or not
you have a living will.
Say you feel that if you develop an inevitably fatal
illness, you do not want any extreme measures taken to
prolong your suffering or to cause you additional
suffering or loss of dignity while you are dying. Say you
have a massive stroke and end up in a coma and according
to the doctors you are brain dead or completely
unresponsive. You are being kept alive by a bunch of
machines and tubes. Now say you had previously told
someone, your spouse, one of your children or a parent,
that you did not want to be kept alive by extreme
measures. That person tells the doctor that you would not
want to be kept alive by a machine, however, another
family member, who can not take the thought of your
dying, tells the doctor that you wanted to be kept alive
by any means possible. Now, there is a problem. Remember
the seven (7) year court battle over Terri Schiavo.
Both family members love you and both want to do what is
best, however they disagree and end up causing great
emotional distress to each other and to other people who
love you, as well as forcing you to be kept ailve against
your wishes while the matter is being settled, and as
well as running up considerable medical and legal
expenses that have to be paid by someone. None of this
would have taken place had you taked the time to have a
living will prepared.
Conversely, say that you would like to receive all
medical treatment that is available, no matter what.
Since you can not speak for yourself, your spouse or a
loved one, not knowing your wishes and who believes in
dying with dignity, tells the doctor to turn off the
machines and let you die. No one else knows what you
wanted so the machines are turned off and you die. Had
you taken the time to have a living will prepared they
would have tried to keep you alive.
The foregoing examples are very black and white and most
incidences will vary in various shades of grey, however I
hope that you will understand the point that I am trying
to get across.
Note: I am not an attorney or a doctor and none of the
foregoing should be construed as legal or medical advice.
This article is written strictly as my opinion based on
life experiences through both my personal life and my
work as a private investigator when investigating family
disputes. As in all matters of law you should always
consult an attorney before taking on any legal endeavor.
Whether you are married, single, young, old, healthy or
ill, a living will is an inexpensive way of insuring that
your wishes are carried out in the event that something
untoward happens. It could also spare your loved ones the
emotional distress of being forced to make such an
important decision for you.
About The Author
David G. Hallstrom,
Sr. is a retired private investigator and currently
publishes several internet directories including
http://www.resourcesforattorneys.com a legal and
lifestyle resources directory for attorneys, lawyers and
the internet public.