A recent audit on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians found that 40,000 patients every year in English hospitals have a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order signed by their doctors without their knowledge or consent.
You might be thinking this could never happen in the United States but I have a increasing number of clients telling me that hospital staff query them as to whether or not they wish to sign a DNR even if the reason for their hospital visit is routine. This is why Advance Directives are an imperative part of any incapacity plan.
An Advance Medical Directive is the document in which you designate someone to make health care decisions for you if you can’t. You can also provide guidance in this document as to what types of medical treatments you would or would not want.
The Advance Medical Directive is but one component of incapacity planning. A properly-drafted Durable General Power of Attorney that includes the appropriate powers your Agent will need to make your long term care decisions a reality is needed as well. This document should include special powers such as unrestricted gifting authority to loved ones and the ability to create irrevocable trust even if you are not the beneficiary of such a document.
This is all part of the 'discussion' I ask my clients to have with loved ones so that the plan is vetted well ahead of the need for implementation. It is so much easier to speak hypothetically while exposing exactly what, how, when and where you want the plan to unfold. There is no better time than now to call for your complimentary consultation or register online for one of our seminars on a topic of interest to you and your loved ones.
References: The Guardian (May 2, 2016) “Do not resuscitate orders placed on patients without consent, says study”