If you become unable to handle your own medical care because of illness, an accident, or age, the right legal documents are your way of making sure your wishes are known. When you do not write down your wishes about the kinds of medical treatment you want (or don’t want) to receive and name someone you trust to oversee your care, these decisions can be placed in the hands of doctors, estranged family members, or sometimes even a judge who may know very little about what you would prefer. You also should plan for the time that you are completely incapacitated with no hope of recovering from a fatal illness or fatal accident, as to what you wishes are about using life support or donating your organs or not.
There are three basic kinds of health care documents that everyone should make A Durable Power of Attorney,Connecticut Appointment of a Health Care Agent, and a Connecticut Living Will.
First, you’ll need a document naming a trusted person to direct your health care if you are unable to do so yourself. In Connecticut, this form is called an Appointment of a health care Agent.
Second, you can create a document setting out the types of medical treatment you would or would not like to receive in certain situations. This document is often known as a Living Will. This document expresses your wishes if you are in a permanent vegetative state and your condition is irreversible and the only thing that can keep you alive is artificial means of life support. It also addresses your wishes with regard to whether you want to donate your organs or not. Connecticut calls this form a Document concerning health care and withholding or withdrawal of life support systems.
Third, you can create a durable power of attorney, providing one you trust to assume management of all of your financial affairs, medical decisions, etc. while you are still alive if you were to become mentally incapacitated temporarily or permanently. This document is null and void upon the death of the person who provides this durable power of attorney, at which time the will and trusts that were created by this deceased person will determine the disposition of all of the assets and liabilities of the decedent’s estate.
In Connecticut, the person you name to make decisions for you is called your health care representative. Most people name a spouse, partner, relative, or close friend as their health care representative. You should also have a backup health care agent if your first choice is unable to act for whatever reason. Under Connecticut law, your health care representative may not be:
When choosing your health care representative, the most crucial criteria are trustworthiness and dependability. You should choose someone you think will be good at asserting your health care wishes, especially if others argue against them, someone who is persistent or calm under pressure. You need to select someone who will respect your wishes regardless of their personal views or the views of others around them.
While you need not name someone who lives in Connecticut, the person you name should at least be willing and able to travel to be with you at your bedside if necessary. Your health care representative will begin to make health care decisions for you when you lack the capacity to do so.
At Tindall Law Firm, LLC we are very experienced in preparing health care documents and can assist in helping you document your wishes. Please contact us with any questions on this topic or any other legal issues by calling us at (203) 755-0018 or visiting us online at http://tindall.webozy.net/ with all your legal needs.