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  #1  
Old June 9th, 2007, 13:52
eldragon eldragon is offline
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Default Advanced Directives

In the case that you are incapacitated, it's not a good idea to expect your family and loved ones to make your decisions.

They will already be suffering.


You can eliminate alot of the burden by having advanced directives regarding what kind of care you want, whether or not life-saving and sustaining measures should be taken, and by arranging your burial and funeral plans now.

Any attorney can help you legally do advanced directives.
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  #2  
Old June 9th, 2007, 19:53
tater03 tater03 is offline
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I agree with the concept of this 100%. But I just am not sure that my husband would really want someone else to state what I wanted. I mean if I thought that he would refuse what I wanted then it might be different.
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  #3  
Old June 10th, 2007, 09:49
lilyflower_1978 lilyflower_1978 is offline
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Is there other ways than an attorney to get advanced directives? Do the lawyers charge for this service? I've looked online before and you can find some documents that you can print off and fill out but they don't seem as detailed as ones you have to pay for. I'd like to get one in line for me.
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  #4  
Old June 10th, 2007, 16:51
luciestorrs luciestorrs is offline
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I think it is a good idea to have it checked over by an attorney, to make sure that it is legally correct and that your wishes are sure to be followed. Undoubtedly, though, they would charge for this service.

There's more information about Making a living will (as we call it) on the Light Beyond website. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions.
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  #5  
Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:45
SageMother SageMother is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyflower_1978 View Post
Is there other ways than an attorney to get advanced directives? Do the lawyers charge for this service? I've looked online before and you can find some documents that you can print off and fill out but they don't seem as detailed as ones you have to pay for. I'd like to get one in line for me.
Here, when you are going to be admitted to hospital for a procedure or observation that might develop into a life threatening situation, they talk with you about your wishes before things go south, and give you a form to fill out, unless you already have a document somewhere else and someone knows where it is.
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  #6  
Old July 4th, 2007, 12:19
SageMother SageMother is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyflower_1978 View Post
Is there other ways than an attorney to get advanced directives? Do the lawyers charge for this service? I've looked online before and you can find some documents that you can print off and fill out but they don't seem as detailed as ones you have to pay for. I'd like to get one in line for me.

I don't think you actually have to have an attorney for most things like wills and DNR's. Once you wishes are written, that's it. Problems arise only if something is contested, which is why you want a document. witnessed and signed by a notary, before it is necessary to make crucial decisions.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 23:41
lilyflower_1978 lilyflower_1978 is offline
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Thanks for the information Sage. I'll be doing more research on it. I know when I'm admitted into the hospital they often ask and then offer someone to bring me information. Going to take them up on that offer next time.
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  #8  
Old July 14th, 2007, 13:47
Calypso Calypso is offline
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Medical advanced directives typically don't require an attorney. Just make sure you follow the rules of your state. For instance, most states require that your signature on living wills and durable power of attorney for healthcare be witnessed by two non-related witnesses and a notary public.

To clarify, we have mentioned several different types of documents here.

Advance directive is a general term used for any document that specifies your wishes in advance of you becoming incapacitated.

A living will refers specifically to treatments that you do and do not want at the end of your life or if you have a condition so severe that you would never again be able to enjoy a good quality of life. (What is "good" is left for you to define.) It's a good idea to talk to a medical social worker, nurse, or doctor before completing a living will to make sure you get all the pertinent information. For instance, many people check that they WOULD want artificial nutrition and hydration, not realizing that the dying body cannot handle food and fluid and that rather than being a comfort measure, feeding tubes and IV drips in terminal patients can cause great DIScomfort.

A durable power of attorney for healthcare appoints someone to make decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so for yourself. This person can be a spouse, a friend, a lover, a relative, etc. It should definitely be someone who will respect your wishes as described in your living will.

Finally, an outside the hospital DNR is a document that states whether or not you would want CPR should you collapse and die in the community. DNR stands for "do not resuscitate." Someone who is otherwise healthy does not need a DNR, but a person with a terminal illness probably does need a DNR, since CPR will not cure the underlying terminal illness. For anyone who has never seen a code outside of TV land (and I've witnessed dozens), it is a gruesome process that usually results in cracked ribs, espeically in frail, elderly people. A resuscitation attempt also costs a small fortune. And if the doctors are able to bring the person back at all, it will most likely be to linger in agony a few days on a respirator in ICU before finally sucumbing to the terminal illness.

None of these documents strictly require a lawyer, but if your circumstances are unusual, for instance, if you are a gay couple in a state that has, like Ohio, basically outlawed gay partnerships of any kind, it doesn't hurt to have an attorney take a look at your documents to be sure they meet the letter of the law. Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Calypso : July 15th, 2007 at 10:02.
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  #9  
Old July 14th, 2007, 15:17
SageMother SageMother is offline
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"Finally, an outside the hospital DNR is a document that states whether or not you would want CPR should you collapse and die in the community. Someone who is otherwise healthy does not need a DNR, but a person with a terminal illness probably does, since CPR will not cure the underlying terminal illness. If the doctors are able to bring the person back at all, it will most likely be to linger a few days in a respirator in ICU before finally sucumbing to the terminal illness."

Being aware of how to handle this particular order is a problem for some families, due to superstitions about someone dying in the home. They will often call paramedics, because they don't want death to occur in the home, who then cannot perform the only thing they are there for - performing life sustaining techniques while the patient is transported to the hospital.

There has to be another way to handle this problem but I haven't heard of one yet. What are the alternatives in this situation, on the legal side?
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  #10  
Old July 15th, 2007, 09:59
Calypso Calypso is offline
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I would encourage anyone who has a terminal illness and is no longer undergoing aggressive therapy to consider hospice. I can't count the number of times I've come into a situation to have the family tell me, "I just couldn't stand it if he/she died at home."

We work hard with them on these issues, and in the vast majority of cases the patient does die at home and the person who thought they couldn't possibly handle it does just fine. A few times, we've needed to arrange "respite care" in a nursing home while the person goes through the active dying process. Another option is hospitalization with the intent to keep comfortable and not to cure. We also always encourage our families to call hospice the moment they notice a change in the patient's condition so that we can assess the situation and offer support to the caregivers.
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