Healthcare Representation Lawyer Aiken

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The end of life is something many people don’t want to think about. But the reality is that it reaches a point in life when a person gets completely incapacitated and unable to make crucial decisions regarding their life. When you become mentally or physically incapacitated, you need someone who will be able to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.

Hiring a healthcare representation lawyer, Aiken, will help you come up with a comprehensive healthcare plan for the future. Our attorneys at Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs in Aiken understand how crucial healthcare decisions are. They will give you the necessary legal assistance and advise you on important healthcare decisions.

Table of Contents

What is Healthcare Representation?

A healthcare representative is someone appointed to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you’re no longer capable of making them. The representative can consent to crucial healthcare decisions such as treatment, care, diagnosis, etc. They can also decide whether to withhold or provide life support.

The representative does not act unless the principal is incompetent or unable to make healthcare decisions. The decisions of the healthcare representative always mirror the patient’s wishes stated in writing or a living will.

However, when situations arise that the patient did not anticipate, the representative is allowed to make crucial decisions. The decisions that a healthcare representative makes should always be based on the patient’s best interest.

What is the Importance of Healthcare Planning?

End-of-life decisions are always the toughest for the family members. Making healthcare planning will help you get the treatment you want even when you’re unable to say it. It also relieves the family members of the burden and stress of making crucial health decisions.

Some of the advantages of healthcare planning include:

  • It ensures future healthcare decisions align with your values and preferences
  • Relieving family members from making difficult healthcare decisions
  • It allows you to take control of your future medical needs
  • Makes the wishes of the patient known to the family to avoid blame and guilt

What Are the Key Components of Healthcare Representation?

Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA)

Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA) is a legal document that names a healthcare representative and gives them the power to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal. When a person can no longer communicate their wishes and make crucial healthcare decisions, they need someone to represent them.

The healthcare representative is also known as a proxy, surrogate, or agent. The healthcare representative should be familiar with the patient’s values and preferences and make decisions based on them. A representative will help you plan for unforeseen situations that may impact your life.

Living Wills

A living will is a legal document that specifies the kind of medical treatment you wish to receive as well as those you do not wish to receive. It’s a form of a medical directive to doctors or a declaration. In many circumstances, living will give directives for end-of-life care.

A living will can only become effective when a person loses their capacity to make healthcare decisions. It applies in terminal conditions or permanent unconsciousness.

Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNR)

When a patient suffers a cardiac arrest or respiratory problems, the first thing doctors do is to perform CPR to resuscitate them. A do not resuscitate order instructs healthcare providers not to perform any life-saving measures when the patient’s heartbeat stops.

Having the document in a place where the doctors can easily access it helps avoid confusion in case of an emergency. Without the DNR order, medical staff will naturally perform CPR on any patient having breathing difficulties.

How Are Healthcare Directives Created?

Determining Healthcare Wishes

Determining healthcare directives based on your wishes and values helps you think about what matters towards the end of your life. The directive will guide healthcare providers and your loved ones about future healthcare and medical treatment.

Talking to a healthcare provider will help you learn about your current and future health situations. For example, they can help you determine the decisions you might want to make if you suffer a stroke.

Choosing a Healthcare Agent

It’s crucial to choose someone you trust to make healthcare decisions that align with your values and beliefs. Your healthcare representative can be a relative, a lawyer, or a loved one. They should be willing to represent you, have the ability to advocate for your health, and understand your wishes.

Legal Requirements and Considerations

For a healthcare directive to be considered legal, it must meet some requirements. Some of the requirements include:

  • Must be stated in writing and dated
  • Must include your name
  • Signed by you or an authorized person
  • Signatures must be verified by a notary or witness
  • Include an appointment with a healthcare representative

How Do You Use Healthcare Directives?

Activating Healthcare Directives

While the healthcare directives state the kind of treatments you will want in the future, it does not become effective until you become incapacitated. The directive is only used in circumstances where you become incapable of making decisions regarding your health.

Communicating with Healthcare Providers

Your healthcare and treatment wishes will not be known if you don’t communicate them. Your healthcare providers and representatives should have copies of your healthcare directives so that they know the kind of treatment to perform on you. Your healthcare providers will also check if you have a healthcare directive when you lose the capability to make crucial health decisions.

Revocation and Updates

You have the freedom to revoke or update your healthcare directive at any time and free of charge. But to end your healthcare directive, you must:

  • Do it in writing
  • Sign in front of two witnesses
  • Get it signed by your healthcare representative

It’s important to review and update your healthcare directive regularly to reflect on your current situation. You might have changes in your medical needs or relationships to reflect your needs.

What is the Role of an Estate Planning Attorney?

Estate planning attorneys possess deep knowledge of healthcare planning and will offer a helping hand when necessary. Working with healthcare representation lawyer Aiken will help you in the following ways:

Drafting and Advising

Your attorney will help you draft an appropriate healthcare directive that clearly states your wishes and abides by the legal requirements of your state. They will advise you on important healthcare decisions and how they might impact your life and your loved ones in the future.

Integrating Healthcare Planning into Estate Planning

Your estate plan should include long-term care needs. Integrating your estate plan with your healthcare planning is a holistic approach to future planning. Your attorney can advise you on how to integrate the two effectively and have a worry-free future.

Navigating Complex Healthcare Decisions

Making healthcare decisions can be challenging for family members. Sometimes, decisions can cause conflicts, stress, and guilt among family members. They also bring uncertain medical outcomes or conflict with religious and ethical beliefs. An estate planning attorney can help make those decisions and ensure they don’t cause confusion or conflicts in the future.

Conclusion

Planning for your end of life is the most difficult decision to make. However, to ensure your wishes, values, and medical preferences are respected when you can no longer make decisions, it’s important to have a healthcare plan in place. Choosing a healthcare representative will ensure someone has your back on important healthcare decisions.

Hiring healthcare representation lawyer Aiken will help you come up with a healthcare directive that adheres to the law. They will advise you on the best decisions to make and how to execute your plan. Our lawyers at JJWLS understand just how important a healthcare plan is. We will not only help you come up with one but also ensure that your wishes are followed up to the end.