Do You Have a Living Will? Don’t Expect Your Doctor to Ask You; Be Your Own Advocate

As we near the end of our lives, communication with our doctors becomes more and more important. Most seniors will, at some point, receive emergency medical care at a hospital, likely from physicians who do not personally know them.

Being treated by strangers becomes a problem because patients in need of acute hospital care are often not physically or mentally capable of communicating their wishes. If you or an older relative find themselves in this position, making decisions about care will be nearly impossible. To avoid receiving treatment that is not in line with your wishes, have conversations about advance planning with your family and doctors.

Make it clear to your loved ones and healthcare professionals that you have specific wishes regarding the care you receive at the end of your life. This care will likely include treatment to alleviate pain and suffering, and your specific preferences should be honored.

You are your own best advocate; initiate conversations yourself and make your doctors aware that you want to put medical orders in place to ensure that any acute care you receive will be in line with your wishes. These wishes can be outlined in a Living Will or Advanced Healthcare Directive.

If you need help understanding the nuances of elder law and life care planning, Bratton Scott’s Elder Law team can help. Additionally, the attorneys at Bratton Scott will guide you through the process of preparing a Living Will (no matter you’re your age). Call today for your consultation.