Friday, August 14, 2009
LIVING WILLS ARE NOT DEATH PANELS.
Living Wills, also known as Advance Directives, are an important part of anyone's life planning and estate documents. Contrary to falsehoods being spread during the current healthcare reform debate, a living will actually puts the PATIENT in control to dictate what specific care the patient desires to be administered or withheld in the event of an end of life condition. In the absence of such, the default mechanism is to keep the patient alive, even if the patient would indefinitely be in a persistent vegetative state. 99.9% of my clients, in fact, do not want to be kept on a ventilator or other life sustaining measures indefinitely - which would occur in the absence of a living will. Living Wills should be executed to prevent such a scenario, along with Healthcare Proxies and Powers of Attorney.