Columbia County Living Will Lawyers
Our Certified Elder Law Attorney Can Help Your Family
One powerful tool to protect yourself in the event you become incapacitated is a living will. This document is a must-have if you want to ensure there is no ambiguity when it comes to healthcare decisions that must be made on your behalf.
The best way to make sure you have a valid living will is to seek out the assistance of an elder law specialist. Our compassionate attorneys at Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC, have dedicated their careers to serving Central Pennsylvania elders and all their legal needs. Call us today at (570) 784-5211 to learn more.
What Is a Living Will?
A living will is a written statement that lays out your wishes for medical treatment in any scenario in which you are unable to express informed consent. This includes an advance directive, which is another name for a living will, and is an umbrella term for any kind of formal guidelines spelling out how to handle certain medical and legal situations in advance, which goes into effect when the person is no longer able to make his or her wishes known.
Other examples of advance directives are power of attorney or healthcare proxy documents, which authorize an agent to make decisions on the person’s behalf if he or she becomes incapacitated.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has had a living will statute since 1992, but it was revised with the 2006 Act 169. The law states that an advance healthcare directive must be in written form and be dated and signed by the patient, and the signing must be witnessed by two people who are at least 18 years of age. If the patient is not able to sign, a person who is acting on the patient’s direction (say through a power of attorney) can sign in his or her stead.
What Do the Terms DNR and No Treatment Mean?
One of the main considerations of a living will is whether or not there is a do not resuscitate (DNR) order. A DNR order informs healthcare providers they are not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on you should your breathing or heartbeat stop.
CPR is recognized as mouth-to-mouth breathing and chest compressions. But the procedure can be much more invasive in a clinical setting. It can include electrical shocks to restart the heart, breathing tubes inserted into air passages, or the administration of drugs such as adrenaline or other stimulants. Many people, especially terminal or end-of-life patients, do not wish to undergo such invasive treatments even if they are successful in the short term.
For Help With Your Advance Directive, Talk to Us
These are difficult decisions we are all going to have to face someday. It’s critical to make your wishes clear in case you face a situation in which you become incapacitated and the hard decisions are forced onto others, like your family members.
At Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC, we offer a wide range of life-care-planning services. We can walk you through the process of creating a living will and help make sure your wishes are unambiguous. Call one of our friendly legal representatives today at (570) 784-5211 to schedule a consultation.