As part of our admission process, the MediCrest Home Care representative usually asks and provides the client/prospective client with information about Advance Directives. As part of our efforts of continued awareness, please take a moment and watch this short video. We trust this video, along with the link provided below will give you some insights on the importance of Advance Directives.
Who Needs a Living Will?
Some of you may recall the drawn out legal battle between Terri Schiavo ‘s husband , Michael, and her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, on whether or not to remove her feeding tube.
Terri Schiavo collapsed in her home in full cardiac arrest in February, 1990. She suffered brain damage and,after two and a half months in a coma was diagnosed by her doctor as being in a vegetative state. Mrs. Schiavo’s husband wanted the feeding tube removed , but her parents objected.
The case went on for 7 years (1998-2005) before the feeding tube was removed for good. Of course, had Mrs. Schiavo created a Living Will there would have been no questions about her wishes and it would have saved both parties a lot of heartaches.Creating a Living Will and/or making your feelings known about prolonging your death is not an easy discussion, but it will save your family and friends a lot of stress, bad feelings and heartache should any of the following occurs;
(a) you have been in a deep state of unconsciousness for so long that your doctor(s) believe the unconscious state will continue;
(b) there is no reasonable expectation for improvement in our condition (you will not recover and death will occur as a result of this incurable disease, illness or injury; or
(c) you are brain dead and there is no reasonable expectation that you will regain brain function.
What is a Living Will?
Also known as an Advance Directives, a Living Will “allows you to choose whether or not you want to die naturally, without your death being artificially prolonged by various medical procedures”. This document deals solely with your medical condition and will give your doctor(s) the authorization to withhold measures to delay your death. A Living Will is different from a “Last Will and Testament” which deals with your finances and possessions.
Who Should Create a Living Will
Creating a Living Will is not only for the elderly; everyone over 18 years of age (with a sound mind) should make the decision to create one. The Living Will does not have to be written by an attorney, it can be handwritten, but must be witnessed by two (2) individuals who are:
- at least 18 years old;
- not related to you;
- not a person who will inherit property or money from you;
- not responsible for paying your medical bills; and
- Georgia law also requires that, “if you decide to make a Living Will while a patient in a hospital or a resident of a skilled care nursing home, you must have an additional person sign the form. This third witness must be the medical director of the skilled nursing home or staff physician not participating in your care. If you are in a hospital, it must be the chief of the hospital staff or staff physician not participating in your care. Recent changes allow hospitals to designate someone else who is not involved in your care to be the third witness”.
If you need more information about a Living Will, please click here
If you are in need of an experienced, compassionate caregiver to care for you or your loved one, please contact MediCrest Home Care at (404) 946-3313 or visit us at www.medicresthomecare.com,