When my mom was at the end of her life and in hospice, one of the things the hospice staff required was a Living Will or Advance Directive. They needed to know her medical wishes in case her heart stopped or she was having problems breathing. She had it all set in a folder signed and told us where it was so that we can give it to them when that happens.
I also remember when I was admitted to the hospital and a day before my brain surgery, the doctor asked us if I have an advance directive. He said that it would be best to be prepared in case something went wrong with the surgery. As they say, there’s always risk when we have surgery. I didn’t have one and I’m thankful that the surgery was succesful.
As COVID gets real and more people are getting hospitalized, here are some legal documents your doctor and your loved ones wish that you have before all the craziness hits:
- Advance Directive or Living Will: The advance directive or living will is for your medical wishes. This include the Do Not Recuscitate (DNR) directive in case your heart stops and the Do Not Intubate (DNI) directive in case you have a hard time breathing. My mom said no to both. The doctor said what we see on TV is not as hard as the actual resuscitation method.
- Health Care Proxy: this is to name a family member, relative or friend to make medical decisions in case you’re in a coma and can’t speak for yourself. If you watch Grey’s Anatomy, when Meredith contracted COVID-19, her medical proxy at that time was Alex Karev. Since he was no longer in the picture, her friends pressed her to name a new one. In the end, she chose Dr. Webber as her health care proxy.
- Durable Power of Attorney: this is different from the health care proxy. If health care proxy is for medical decisions, the durable power of attorney is for making financial decisions.
- Last Will and Testament: Everyone should have a last will and testament. We shouldn’t wait for us to get sick to have one. This is important especially if you a family and assets to leave behind.
Early yesterday morning, my husband’s ex-wife called again. The doctors are going to induced his dad in a coma and intubate him. She also said she was having a hard time paying his medical bills as her mom didn’t know much about his finances and he didn’t grant her durable power of attorney. We are still praying that he will recover and be healed from this virus.