Saturday, January 10, 2015

Living Will - Why it is More Important and Its Pros and Cons

A Living will, quite often you must have come across this term. But how many of us know its usage, its importance, advantages and disadvantages? There are many articles written on this topic. One can go and find out information from various sources. This article mostly features the important factors of living will, the basic idea behind its making as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

As the name says "living will", from its name it suggests that it has got something to do with legal document. Yes, a living-will is a document in which an individual writes about his/her medical wishes and desires. This document is converted into a legal document and is used during the time when an individual will no longer be able to take any decision due to incapacity or illness. In other words, this term is explained as advance health care directive, advance directives or advance decision.

An individual who has made such kind of advance directives, appoints a person so that he can take any decisions on their behalf. This kind of will is an oldest form of "leaving instructions for medical treatment". In today's world, concept of making such kind medical wish or desire on a legal document is quite encouraged. This legal document is benefited while giving comprehensive guidance regarding an individual's care.

Writing a living will has to be very specific. Therefore, in some cases it restricts the use of various kinds of burdensome treatment. Individual can also express their wishes on how his food and water will be supplied, either via medical devices or tubes. An individual can also be more specific regarding the service that he expects with respect to pain relief or analgesia, antibiotics, feeding, usage of ventilators or antibiotics.

Disadvantages of advance directives:

• Main disadvantage of an advance decision is; there is no statute in New York governing such kind of living-wills. Advance will is valid as long as it states specific and convincing evidence.
• Drafting out an advance will is not an easy job. It requires specific instructions regarding all possible events in future. It is impossible for one to imagine what an individual would really want in the situations.
• In case an individual fails to make his advance will specific and clear, then there could be refusal of treatment.

Advantages of advance directives:

• The main advantage of living will is that it respects the human rights of a patient.
• Drafting an advance directive creates full discussion on medical treatment and services.
• It helps the medical professionals to decide what the patient wants.
• A patient's family or relatives will be free from taking difficult decisions.

Once you decide to create such kind of legal document, you should not get confused in between an advance directives and a trust. Role of a trust is to handle the property/assets of an individual after his/her death. Trust has got nothing to do with the medical care decisions. In response to increasing improvement in the field of medicine, concept of an advance directive was implemented.

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Robert Eldridge holds over a decade of experience as a multiline agent in multiple states and currently serves on the membership council of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
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