When chronic illness or diminished mental capacity interferes with someone's ability to make informed medical decisions for himself or herself, if that person previously executed a Health Care Proxy, that proxy can be used, essentially transferring the right to make medical decisions to a trusted party. Additionally, while living wills are not formally recognized in Massachusetts, a living will can be created in order to give some direction on your preferences for when life support and resuscitation efforts should be withheld and who should have the legal authority to make medical decisions on his or her behalf. At Blake & Associates, our attorneys work closely with people charged with the care of elderly family members, disabled children or ailing spouses. We also represent proxies who are struggling with a family member who refuses to abide by a prescribed medical regimen. In Massachusetts, courts can affirm a healthcare proxy.
If you have questions about creating a healthcare proxy for yourself, or affirming a healthcare proxy of which you serve as an agent, contact the estate planning attorneys at Blake & Associates today.
When a Healthcare Proxy Makes Sense
People suffering from dementia, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, severe diabetes and other chronic conditions may eventually suffer from a diminished mental capacity. As their condition worsens, they may refuse needed treatment or cease taking needed medication. A healthcare proxy not only allows you to make informed decisions on behalf of an ailing family member, it also provides you with legal grounds for obtaining a court order forcing your loved one to comply with doctor's orders.
Living Wills - Making Sure Your Wishes Are Respected
Should you become completely incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for yourself, it's likely doctors will use whatever life saving or life support technology they have available. This could result in a case like Karen Ann Quinlan or Terry Schiavo where you are left in a permanent vegetative state. Not only can this lead to controversy among family members, it can also create financial problems when insurance runs out or is denied. A health care proxy in conjunction with a living will can allow you to direct when you want to remove feeding tubes, end resuscitation efforts or cease pumping air into your lungs.
Contact the Healthcare Proxy Attorneys at Blake & Associates
We have the experience and resources needed to help you in creating a health care proxy. Additionally, we can review your existing estate plan to ensure there are no potential areas of conflict - for example, where different family members have been selected for different kinds of legal authority.
For more information on healthcare proxies, living wills and how we can help you, contact the estate planning lawyers at Blake & Associates today.