An Advance Health Care Directive, also called a “Living Will” or “Health Care Power of Attorney,” allows you to have control over decisions about your own health care when you are physically or mentally unable to make them yourself. In addition, the directive may contain instructions on how much care you would like in certain situations or how little. Details may include whether pain-relieving drugs may be used, when treatment should be ceased, and directions to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-sustaining treatment such as artificial feeding and hydration, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, etc.
Without an Advance Health Care Directive, your values and beliefs may not be respected. For instance, you may be kept alive but insentient for decades against your wish. Further, your loved ones will be faced with making hard decisions for you, and arguments could erupt between your loved ones about what care you would want. Detailing your preferences now ensures that your loved ones will have peace of mind knowing your wishes for your health care in Sacramento.
In sum, an Advance Health Care Directive can be of great assistance and guidance to you and your loved ones during a potentially difficult time in Sacramento, California. Another legal document that can be beneficial is a HIPAA waiver (“Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996″). This document will allow certain trusted individuals to get information about your medical condition. A HIPAA release is necessary to authorize your doctors and other health care providers to communicate with a designated person regarding your medical and health care matters. The HIPAA release ensures that the family members, health care agents and representatives you designate have the ability to speak with your doctors, view your medical records and generally be informed about the status of your health and treatment.
You may grant powers to your agent to terminate use of life support equipment, donate your body parts as needed, authorize an autopsy if warranted and decide what is to be done with your remains. You may also deny these powers of your agent. Health care decisions may also include selection and dismissal of health care providers and institutions; diagnostic test or surgical procedure approval or disapproval, medication programs; and directions to provide, withhold, or withdraw artificial hydration and nutrition and all health care of other forms, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Making Changes to Your AHCD
Under California Law, if you choose a spouse as your primary agent, and subsequently dissolve your marriage, the designation of your spouse as your agent is deemed revoked. This means that the first alternate agent in your Directive (listed immediately after your former spouse) becomes your primary agent for health care decisions.
Sacramento Advanced Health Care Directive Lawyer
End of life decisions are not easy to make, and they are especially difficult for family members who have no direction as to the wants of the incapacitated person. Taking time to express your wishes regarding these matters can relieve the burden on your family in a stressful and emotional situation.
The experienced estate planning attorneys of Bowman & Associates have helped clients across California from their offices in Sacramento and Folsom. If you or someone you know has legal questions, contact our skilled law firm for a free initial consultation. We are here to help…