As hard as it can be to imagine when you are young and vital, one day you may be old and ill, facing your last days on Earth. The human race is the only species that is aware that this day may come, and that death is a certainty. This knowledge enables us to prepare for that time by way of a legal record incorporated into your estate plan stating your wishes. Gorman & Jones, PLC can help you prepare advance medical directives which you can incorporate into a legal record.
Whether your feelings on this matter are influenced by religious or spiritual beliefs, they must be considered when planning for the end of life. One important consideration is how much and what kinds of medical interventions you will accept to your extend life if you are terminally ill, and how to communicate your wishes to your doctors and family.
Advance medical directives are legal documents designed to communicate your wishes and preferences for medical treatments and interventions. By creating a written record of decisions you make now in legal documents called advance medical directives, you can relieve your family of having to make difficult decisions at an emotional time and you will be allowed to approach your death with dignity on your own terms. An experienced Tampa medical directive lawyer can ensure that the documents are drafted properly, so there will be no confusion or ambiguity.
There are three types of advance medical directives: living wills, health care surrogates, and mental health care surrogates.
A living will is the legal instrument used to specify what kinds of medical treatment you want, or do not want, if you become incapacitated. It can be general or specific and detailed. A simple, general living will can state that if you are suffering from an incurable illness and your doctor determines that your condition is terminal, life-sustaining measures that would serve only to prolong your dying are to be withheld or discontinued.
A more specific living will might list which interventions are acceptable and which are not. For example, you might choose to receive pain medication but not a feeding tube, ventilator, or other invasive intervention, or you might specify that if you stop breathing you are not to be resuscitated (DNR).
A health care surrogate names another person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to make these decisions. The person you select is expected to make those decisions in accordance with your stated desires. The document gives your surrogate the same rights to request or refuse treatment that you would have if you were able to make or communicate a decision on your own.
A durable mental health care surrogate used to authorize medical treatment for your mental health care and authorizes admitting you to a psychiatric hospital in the event of mental disease or decline. In Florida, a regular health care proxy does not extend to psychiatric institutionalization unless there is an added clause that allows it, or if a separate legal document has been created for that purpose.
The Tampa advance medical directives lawyers at Gorman & Jones, PLC will take the time to assist you in deciding exactly what you want to include in your advance directives. As we custom build our legal documents based on each individual clients’ needs, we don’t use pre-printed forms. Every client is a unique individual with his or her own particular concerns and beliefs that must be reflected in their legal documents. We understand that this can be a difficult and emotional process and we will help to guide you through it so that you can feel at ease and in control of decisions that will affect how you live your last days.
Contact the law offices of Gorman & Jones, PLC by calling (813) 856-5625 for a free consultation or contact us online to discuss the advance directives you want to have in place.
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