Here is why you need your Advance Health Care directive now during the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic.
If you were taken to the ER at this very moment, and you couldn’t make medical decisions for yourself, who would? Would that person know what you’d want AND have the legal authority to make those decisions?
I’m sure at this point you are thinking…
Well, I was taken to the ER just last week when I was hit by a car that ran a red light (See picture below). I’m pretty banged up right now, but I am thankful to be alive and with no symptoms of the Coronavirus after leaving the hospital. Thank God!
I have my Advance Health Care Directive documents, but I can assure you I am now reviewing them to update any language necessary as it pertains to Coronavirus/COVID-19.
This is our reality now with the Coronavirus looming nearby, and this is something totally out of our control. But the one thing we can control is to be prepared by choosing what people we want to make medical decisions on our behalf if the unthinkable were to happen. That’s right, people as in plural. And not just one person to make those decisions in the event you are incapacitated or unable to make them for yourself.
So, what is an Advance Health Care Directive?
It is a document that states about how you want medical decisions made should you not be able to make them yourself. The good news is that you can do it on your own for FREE or get help with a lawyer.
In this article, I’ll share with you the ‘must know’, as follows:
• the 4 parts every Advance Health Care Directive must have, why they’re important, and
• how to create your Advance Health Care Directive tweaked to the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
Typically, There are Four (4) Parts:
1.) Living Will: It is a document with your written statement of the kind of medical care (the How) you want or do not want if you become unable to make your own decisions. It is called a Living Will because it takes effect while you are still living.
2.) Health Care Surrogate Designation: It is a document naming another person or persons (the Who) as your representative to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself.
3.) Anatomical Donation: It indicates your wish to donate, at death, all or part of your body. This can be an organ and tissue donation to persons in need, or donation of your body for training of health care workers. You can choose to donate or not to donate.
4.) HIPAA Release: Often, the above-mentioned documents are accompanied by a HIPAA Release that authorizes medical professionals to disclose information to your named Health Care Surrogate.
Believe me, NOW, is the time to have an Advance Health Care Directive in place if you don’t already have one in place.
When you create your Advance Health Care Directive consider adding in this language:
“Despite anything to the contrary in this document, if necessary due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) or any other respiratory infection, I DO want intubation, ventilation, and all other life-saving measures.”
In Italy, in The Brussels Times on March 9, 2020 quotes “Coronavirus: ‘We must choose who to treat,’ says Italian doctor” when forced to decide who to intubate (access to mechanical resuscitation) and who not to intubate.
Scary, right! Let’s do away with any barriers when it comes to choosing you!!
Consider adding this language in the event of any lockdowns and/or self-quarantines:
“I expressly authorize my health care surrogate representative to communicate decisions to any medical provider verbally, in person, by telephone, via email, via web conference including but not limited such services as Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or in any other manner appropriate to the circumstances. Further, I expressly hold harmless any medical provider for relying on such communications of decisions and directions by my representative. The express purpose of this provision is to foster decision making by my health care surrogate representative in remote or indirect manners that may be necessary or advisable given whatever circumstances accompany such decision making.”
The above aforementioned language is courtesy of lawyers across the United States led by Alexis Neely, Esq. and I appreciate their help and support during these unprecedented times.
If you want to do it yourself, you can visit the “Five Wishes” website for a downloadable Health Care Directive for FREE. Five Wishes meets the state’s requirements under the law in 42 states and District of Columbia. And, YES, Florida is on that list!
Without further delay, get an Advance Health Care Directive in place today!
At Vázquez Law, we don’t just draft documents. We ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, both for yourself and your loved ones. As your trusted advisor, we can help you articulate your wishes for your future and legally protect your loved ones and finances for years to come. That’s why we offer a PEACE Estate Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love.
Contact us today at 305.440.1888 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to get the process underway by scheduling a PEACE Estate Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT YOUR LAWYER UNLESS YOU HAVE PAID ME FOR LEGAL ADVICE AND WE HAVE SIGNED AN AGREEMENT. I AM A LICENSED ATTORNEY IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED HERE IS SOLELY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND NOT LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY CONSULT WITH A LAWYER BEFORE MAKING ANY LEGAL DECISION FOR YOURSELF OR YOUR FAMILY. IF YOU DO WANT TO WORK WITH A LAWYER, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND CONSIDERING A LAWYER WHO HAS THE HEART OF A COUNSELOR, AND SPECIFIC TRAINING ON HOW TO GET FAMILIES TALKING ABOUT HARD SUBJECTS, WITH GREAT EASE.