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Health Care Directives

Planning for health care historically was not much of a problem. You got sick or injured and recovered or you died. The only question was the long term effect of the illness if you recovered. Your family could only stand by and make you comfortable and then cheer the recovery or mourn the loss. Today is totally different. People who could not live are now able to do so with a myriad of pharmaceutical concoctions and medical devices. This new technology brings new planning opportunities and problems. The question now becomes not one of life or death but how do you manage these situations when you can’t decide for yourself.

How do you as an individual want to address infections and injuries where you survive and may be unconscious for years with no guaranty of returning to a normal life? How do you decide on what health care you should receive and for how long? What standards are to be used in applying that care? When you are terminal, what health care should you receive? Do you want to be kept alive as long as humanly possible? When is it time to die? What does your faith position say and how many attitudes about different parts of life do you want taken into consideration?

The last time I looked, there was so much information in the libraries and on the internet that it now seems impossible to read it all. There is a government prescribed form for do-it-yourselfers. See my article on the doing it yourself and forms for motivation. When I prepare an estate plan, either will or living trust, I include the opportunity for you to express your wishes. You may choose to have extensive medical treatment, or you may not, or you may want to have medical treatment only in certain situations. Whatever you want, remember, only you know what you want . Unless you properly capture your wishes in writing you will be the only one to know. Living without giving directions to your family or loved one is not satisfactory. Doing this without my help is difficult. Everyone over the age of eighteen should think about this and call me to discuss HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES. Let’s plan your approach to resolving difficult life and death health related issues.