AVOID THE MEDICARE PENALTY!!!! Remember, even if you do not plan to receive monthly benefits,…
Living Will… Durable Power of Attorney… Advance Directive for Healthcare…I am confused? Do I need all of these?
The short answer is No, only the Advance Directive for Healthcare is needed in 2020.
In 2007 the Georgia legislature enacted the Advance Directive for Healthcare Act. The Act implemented the advance directive for healthcare, in lieu of the living will and the durable power of attorney for healthcare. If you executed a living will or durable power of attorney for healthcare before July 30, 2007 that document remains valid, but it may prove beneficial to have your older document reviewed and possibly updated by an attorney.
In adopting the Advance Directive for Healthcare Act the General Assembly noted that the State of Georgia “has long recognized the right of the individual to control all aspects of his or her personal care and medical treatment, including the right to insist upon medical treatment, decline medical treatment, or direct that medical treatment be withdrawn,” and that “the clear expression of an individual’s decisions regarding healthcare, whether made by the individual or an agent appointed by the individual, is of critical importance not only to citizens but also to the healthcare and legal communities, third parties, and families.” Ga. L. 2007, p. 133, § 1 (a), (d).
What is an Advance Directive for Healthcare?
The advance directive for healthcare is a document that affords an individual the power to appoint a healthcare agent to act for and on behalf of the individual in making decisions related to consent, refusal, or withdrawal of healthcare and decisions related to autopsy, anatomical gifts, and final disposition of a individual’s body when an individual is unable or chooses not to make health care decisions for himself or herself.
The advance directive may be executed by any person of sound mind who is emancipated or 18 years of age or older. The advance directive addresses:
(1) The appointment of a health care agent; and
(2) Directs the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration when the declarant is in a terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness.
What is a healthcare agent?
A health care agent is a person appointed by an individual to act for and on behalf of the individual to make decisions related to consent, refusal, or withdrawal of any type of health care and decisions related to autopsy, anatomical gifts, and final disposition of an individual’s body when an individual is unable or chooses not to make health care decisions for himself or herself. The term “health care agent” shall include any back-up or successor agent appointed by the individual.
The healthcare agent may consent to or refuse any medical care or treatment for the individual, including any surgical or life-sustaining procedures. The agent must exercise his or her powers “consistent with the intentions and desires of the individual” if known, but if the individual’s wishes are unclear, the agent must “act in the individual’s best interest considering the benefits, burdens, and risks of the declarant’s circumstances and treatment options.” Doctors Hosp. of Augusta, LLC v. Alicea, 332 Ga. App. 529(2015).
Coronavirus- 19 has taken the world by storm. We have all heard stories of individuals who are healthy, who contract Coronavirus -19, who then go to the intensive care unit of a hospital, and who are then intubated within the course of ten days. If faced with that scenario having a plan of action is needed to speak for you when you are unable to do so. We each have the ability to determine our end of life decisions by implementing an Advance Directive for Healthcare.