When most in Woodland Hills contemplate the topic of estate planning, they no doubt immediately associate it with maintaining the power to enforce decisions after one dies. Yet what about maintaining that same control before one’s death? Another vital component of estate planning is preparing for this exact scenario.
In most cases, it’s recommended that one assign a spouse or family member to be his or her health proxy. This empowers the assigned individual to make decisions regarding one’s health care. However, one can still maintain some degree of control of his or her care by also agreeing to advanced directives. These are predetermined instructions given by an individual regarding what course of treatment he or she consents to if he or she is not capable of doing so when it’s actually needed. These wishes should be recorded as part of a person’s medical record. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the most common forms of advanced directive among the population of those receiving long-term care is a Do Not Resuscitate order.
A DNR order is an instruction detailing how a person does not want medical personnel to undertake any extraordinary means to prolong their lives. The Advance Health Care Directive Form available online through the California Attorney General’s office gives one the right to have health care treatment withheld if:
- He or she has acquired a medical condition that will inevitably result in death in the immediate future.
- He or she has lost consciousness and is, in the opinion of qualified healthcare professionals, unlikely to regain it.
- Any physical or mental burdens of the treatment being rendered outweigh the benefits it could provide.
Even if one has named another as his or her health proxy, his or her DNR order must still respected.