Advance Directives are legal documents that you allow you to disclose your wishes about end-of-life care options. You spell out how you would like for your family and health care professionals to handle various situations should any of those arise.
You need to think through the different life-sustaining treatment options available to determine how you would want your caregivers and health care agent to proceed. Life-sustaining treatment includes any type of intervention that prolongs the moment of death, regardless of whether the treatment impacts any of the underlying causes or symptoms leading to the terminal condition.
Some examples of life-sustaining treatment include ventilation, feeding tubes, transfusions, CPR and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). Before signing your advance directives ask yourself these 5 questions:
1. Is there a chance my underlying illness will improve? Is recovery possible?
2. What are my goals? Do I want more time or more comfort during the time left?
3. Will life-sustaining treatments cause unwanted side effects that impact my goals?
4. How does my faith or religious beliefs play into these decisions?
5. Is it possible that a cure for my illness is close to being developed that will justify life-prolonging measures?
At Stouffer Legal, we know how difficult it can be to make these determinations. Our experienced estate planning attorneys are happy to discuss the options at length. Contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599 in the Greater Baltimore area to schedule a consultation.