Advance Directives: Living Wills Defined

by | Apr 23, 2015 | Healthcare Litigation

An advance directive, often called a living will, is a part of health care litigation that enables to you to determine your end-of-life care before your health prevents you from making decisions on your own should you suffer from a terminal illness or permanent state of unconsciousness.

Understand that these definitions and other circumstances can vary by state, so it’s important to hire an attorney who’ll help you understand the exact terms and conditions of your state.
Advance directives often cover instructions regarding whether or not:

  • You want to be resuscitated if you stop breathing or your heartbeat stops.
  • You want a feeding tube or breathing machine inserted should you become unable to eat or breathe on your own.
  • You want your organs or tissues donated.

Many living wills also include information about life support and whether you wish to be placed on it—and for how long.
Note that you might also name a medical power of attorney to make these decisions for you; naturally, this requires legal documentation with which your attorney can help you.
Important Facts about Advance Directives

  • Technically, you don’t need an attorney to draft a living will; however, in order to make sure your wishes are written as clearly as possible, it’s best to hire a lawyer with experience writing advance directives.
  • An advance directive can be implemented only after a physician has evaluated your medical situation. For example, an emergency medical technician can’t uphold your living will. Only a physician can do that—after evaluating your medical condition.
  • Living will laws vary from state to state. That’s why it’s crucial you hire an attorney skilled in Florida’s advance directive laws.
  • Not all living wills are recognized in every state; furthermore, while some states don’t recognize other states’ living wills, some states will recognize them as long as the state’s living will laws are similar.
  • Your advance directive will not expire.

Also note, it’s important to review your advance directive from time to time. Changes in your life situation or even your wishes could mean changes in your living will. A skilled attorney specializing in advance directives can help keep your living will up to date.
Also Read : Is Your Office Violating HIPAA Without Realizing It?

Are You Ready to Create Your Advance Directive?

If you’re ready to create your advanced directive or living will and located in the Boynton Beach, Florida area, contact the Law Firm of Peter M. Feaman, P.A. at 561-469-0019 to set up a no-commitment-necessary appointment with one of our attorneys specializing in health care litigation.


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