Physician, First Responder, Medical Professional: “Plan Thyself”

Although doctors, first responders,  and members of the medical community experience illness, injuries and death every day, they still can be hesitant to create a Living Will for themselves. Nonetheless, it’s important.

A Living Will provides instructions about your end-of-life.Medical community It can include as much or as little direction as you want, such as the use of pain-relieving treatments, do not resuscitate (DNR) orders,  and what forms of the life support.

While your Living Will expresses certain wishes to your family members and your medical team, it does not take the place of the Healthcare Power of Attorney.  As an end-of-life document, it cannot address whether you’d want certain life-saving treatments like emergency surgery.  That is the purpose of appointing a healthcare agent in a Healthcare Power of Attorney – so the agent can act in your best interests.

Members of the medical community, like everyone else, need both a health care power of attorney and a living will. Due to the high risk of serious injury that comes especially with a first responders’ duties, it is even more imperative to have this advanced planning in place. In many states, the “health care agent” has the responsibility of making the decision of when to “pull the plug” on care in the Living Will so it is actually a part of the Healthcare Power of Attorney.  This is not the case in Virginia which makes a Living Will all the more important.  In Virginia, when creating and executing Living Will, you, not your loved ones, are providing the medical community with your specific instructions of how and when not to treat you if you were to become an incapacitated individual.  So, what can your Living Will provide?

Be in control of your end-of-life decisions. Without a living will, the decisions to carry out your last wishes could be made by the court. In this situation, state law takes effect and dictates who will have a say in your well-being. With a living will, you control how decisions are made and who will make them.

Protect your life partner. Without a living will, the law will place the health care power of attorney in the hands of your spouse, and then your family. If you have a long-time partner but are unmarried, your partner would have no say in any end-of-life decisions.

Select one of your children to assist. With a health care power of attorney, you eliminate confusion as to which of your children will make the decisions to enforce your living will and decisions on end-of-life care.

Peace of mind. Living Wills provide comfort and peace of mind. This is a stressful time, and a living will helps smooth out the logistics and questions that will arise.

Organ donation. You can state your instructions for organ donations in a living will.

Without a living will, decisions can become difficult for the family when a loved one is in a terminal state. Families are left wondering whether they made the right decision. 

Reference: EMS1.com (May 6, 2017) “Why EMS providers need living wills”


Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.