Why do you need to have a Living Will
A living will allows you to document your wishes concerning medical treatments. The most important fact is that paper copy of Your Living Will must be WITH you when you enter the hospital. Not in your safe deposit box, Not with your children and Not as part of your electronic medical record. Your spouse vocally sharing your wishes is NOT legally binding.
Realize if you arrive in an ER unconscious, we have mere minutes to determine what you want done and comply with your intentions.
Your Living Will guides your medical decision-making in the event :
You are unable to make medical decisions
You are in the medical condition specified in the state’s living will law
(such as “terminal illness” or “permanent unconsciousness”)
Other requirements also may apply, depending upon the state.
A medical power of attorney (or healthcare proxy) allows you to appoint a person you trust as your healthcare agent (or surrogate decision maker), who is authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf. Before a medical power of attorney goes into effect a person’s physician must conclude that they are unable to make their own medical decisions. In addition:
If a person regains the ability to make decisions, the agent cannot continue to act on the person’s behalf.
Many states have additional requirements that apply only to decisions about life-sustaining medical treatments.
For example, before your agent can refuse a life-sustaining treatment on your behalf, a second physician may have to confirm your doctor’s assessment that you are incapable of making treatment decisions.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Advance directives are legally valid throughout the United States. While you do not need a lawyer to fill out an advance directive, your advance directive becomes legally valid as soon as you sign them in front of the required witnesses. The laws governing advance directives vary from state to state, so it is important to complete and sign advance directives that comply with your state’s law. Also, advance directives can have different titles in different states.
Emergency medical technicians cannot ask for a Living Will or medical powers of attorney BY LAW ( 1962 SC) in South Carolina. Once emergency personnel have arrived, they must do whatever they are able to stabilize a person for transfer to a hospital, both from accident sites and from a home or location. Upon review of the Living Will and after a physician fully evaluates the person’s condition and determines the underlying conditions, advance directives can be implemented
North Carolina (CMC Pineville SCCL closest hospital) ) does honor advance directives from another state; others will honor out-of-state advance directives as long as they are similar to the state’s own law.
Advance directives do not expire. An advance directive remains in effect until you change it. If you complete a new advance directive, it invalidates the previous one.
You should review your advance directives periodically to ensure that they still reflect your wishes. If you want to change anything in an advance directive once you have completed it, you should complete a whole new document.
For more information go to : The Vial of Life Program ……..www.vialoflife.com