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Advance Directive Laws

Advance directives are documents that assign a person to be in control of the medical decisions made for an individual in the event the person is unable to express their wishes.

An advanced directive is acknowledged in most countries. In the United States, any adult who is considered competent has the right to an advanced directive. The purpose of the advanced directive is to give every consumer the ability to make their own decisions regarding the medical treatment applied to them and refuse any treatment they don't want. To learn more about advanced directives, take a look at the questions below that have been answered by Experts.

Is a hospital legally required to have a copy of an advanced directive to change a patient's chart to DNR?

A hospital is not required to have a copy of an advanced directive to change a patients chart to DNR (do not resuscitate). Generally, the change in code status is made when it becomes apparent that resuscitation attempts are not working. However, when the person is in the ambulance or in the emergency room following a traumatic experience and resuscitation is successful, the person will be put on Full code. Later, the patient fails and resuscitation is no longer working. There is no way for the patient to tell the hospital staff what they want. The decision will be handed over to next of kin or the hospitals' ethical committee.

I need to establish a Living Will. I only have one son so I want everything spelled out for him in the event that I cannot make my own decisions. What is the most economical way to get this done? I live in MI.

A living will is known by several names. Personal directive, advance directive, and advance decision. The living will provides specific instructions by the individual on what type of care is to be given to them if they are unable to express these wishes due to incapacity or illness. A person will be chosen by the individual to make these choices. The living will provides instructions on treatment. There are forms that provide for Power of Attorney or health care proxy. This form authorizes a person to make choices for the holder of the will in the event the individual cannot. There are also options for a mixture of both.

As for an economical way to establish a living will, you can get the forms online for free. These forms are valid in your state and elsewhere:

Another link that offers free forms for living wills, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Declaration of Anatomical Gift, and DNR Declaration can be found through the MI State Bar Association:

My fiancé has had a stroke and is not able to make decisions at this time. No advance directive was written and no medical power of attorney was assigned prior to the stroke. Would his POA fall to his mother? The military requires someone with POA to inquire about military benefits.

Generally, when there is no power of attorney assigned to make medical decisions, the next of kin will be expected to make the needed decisions. There is a way to gain Power of Attorney over a person who is unable to handle their affairs. A guardianship proceeding is a court hearing where the person's incapacity is determined and a guardian is assigned to that person. The role of the guardian is to make decisions for the ward such as where the person will live and take care of the person's estate. The guardian will also be able to inquire about the person's benefits with the military.

Before my upcoming surgery I would like to have a living will. How do I proceed?

There are a few things you should do before your surgery. You should have a durable power of attorney, with a medical directory. This will allow someone to make choices in your medical care if you cannot. The directive will specify how the decisions will be made. The durable power of attorney will allow a person to make any and all decisions for you that are not medically related. Finally, you will need a last will and testament that specifies how your estate will be handled in the event of your death. You should hire an attorney who handles estate planning to assist you.

Advance directives are an important part in planning for your future. Without one, you have no way of asserting your wishes for medical care if you are unable to. If you would like to prepare for your future, you should ask an Expert to assist you with making the right choices for your individual situation.
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