Nobody likes to think about death and dying but the reality is that with this punishing pandemic, many people are concerned about how they may face an end-of-life situation. There are questions that need to be answered so that your loved ones are clear about your last wishes. Where do you want to die? Do you wish to be artificially kept alive by a breathing machine if you have no chance of recovery?
Having a living will can alleviate this worry for both you and your family.
"If you do it when you are healthy and not actually about to need to be making those decision, then the benefits are significant," says Constance MacIntosh, a health law professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. "You know your wishes are known and can be followed."
According to Global News, the COVID-19 outbreak has people thinking about the end of their lives and there's been a recent spike in will planning. However advance directives, also known as living wills, aren't about what's going to happen after you die, they deal with the details of healthcare and the medical intervention you prefer even after you have lost the ability to verbalize your wishes.
Personal attorney Richard Freeburn tells FOX43 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that a living will is a written record of what treatments you want if you get so sick that you can no longer speak for yourself. In the case of COVID-19, you may be asked to be placed on a ventilator or be intubated. Do you wish to be resuscitated in the event your heart stops? That's another question you might face.
When you are filling out your living will, Freeburn recommends you discuss assigning a healthcare power of attorney.
"That gives someone the power to give decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated," he tells Fox43. An attorney is not required to make these documents, although Freeburn says it is recommended to make sure everything is sound.
"Nobody wants to be in a situation where they are getting care they don't want or not getting the care they do want because they never write down in advance how they want their medical care to proceed," Freeburn says.
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