Everyone always hopes and, to a point, assumes, that a medical procedure will go as planned. No one really counts on the fact that an accident that leaves a person in a limbo between life and death can happen at any time. If you were stuck in a coma for weeks or even months on end, you won’t be able to have a say in what happens with your medical treatment without a living will in place.
In the State of New Jersey, if you don’t have a living will, also known as an advanced directive, in place, you are leaving important decisions about your healthcare to chance. In an emergency, or at a time when you truly want to have a say but can’t, you will be relying on your doctor (or family members who may not share your personal opinions) about your life – and death.
On the other hand, an advanced directive will let people know what you want to have done to your body or who you would like to make the decision about your medical care in your stead. With a living will, your wishes will be carried out by either an instruction you leave to doctors, ta family member or trusted family friend, or a combination of the two – all depending on what kind of directions you describe in your documents.
Perhaps most importantly, in addition to making sure your wishes are followed, you take away the guesswork if something happens to you. This may be very important because, if the time comes when turning off lifesaving machines is in question, emotions will be running very high. Will those people make the choices you would have made or even wanted? Maybe not. At your most vulnerable time, you deserve to be treated with dignity and based on your own wishes.
It’s also important to note that a living will only takes effect when you are unable to give consent to medical treatment. If you are able to regain your ability to make decisions about your own medical care, then the advanced directive takes a backseat to the instructions that you personally give. In other words, you are not bound to your own living will if you’re lucid enough to make your own decisions about your personal care.
If you really look at what a living will can offer you, it makes very little sense to risk going through life without one. Contact an experienced lawyer at Posternock Apell, PC. We will work with you to draft documents that fully outline your wishes so you can rest assured you are protected no matter what may come.