Serving elders and families in Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, and Lorain, Ohio Counties
Advance health care directives or advance directives are instructions given by an individual specifying what should be done for his or her health in case he or she is no longer able to make decisions. A living will is one type of advance directive. It is often accompanied by a specific type of power of attorney or health care proxy. These are legal instruments that are usually witnessed or notarized. It is often encouraged that people complete both documents to provide the most comprehensive guidance regarding their care.. Studies have also shown that adults are more likely to complete documents written in everyday language. One example of a combination document written in everyday language is the Five Wishes advance directive.
A living will usually covers specific directives as to the course of treatment that is to be taken by caregivers, or, in particular, in some cases forbidding treatment and sometimes also food and water, should the principal be unable to give informed consent (“individual health care instruction”) due to incapacity.
A power of attorney for health care appoints an individual (a proxy) to direct health care decisions should the principal be unable to do so.
As the name suggests, the term “will to live”, as opposed to the other terms, tends to emphasize the wish to live as long as possible rather than refusing treatment in the case of serious conditions.
Linda Rich is a licensed attorney practicing in the greater Cleveland area with law offices in Euclid and Lakewood. Contact her for assistance with your Living Will or other elder law related issues.
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