Pittsburgh Advance Healthcare Directive Lawyers

Communicating end-of-life medical situations can be challenging. A Pennsylvania advance health care directive allows patients to communicate their preferences for medical treatment when they cannot communicate or make informed decisions. Drafting an advance directive can be challenging, especially when anticipating future health changes or complications. 

The empathetic attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace are prepared to guide you through the process of creating an advanced healthcare directive. We can help you understand medical terms, discuss potential incidents, and develop a comprehensive strategy reflecting your desires and ensuring your best interests are upheld.

What is a Pennsylvania Advance HealthCare Directive?

A Pennsylvania advance health care directive is a legal document containing decisions related to end-of-life. Specifically, advance directives declare your choices regarding your own medical care if a future condition prevents you from making your own decisions.

These decisions include medical and non-medical decisions, such as preferences regarding visitation from clearly, burial, or cremation of the bodily remains. The directive may include instructions as to whether a person would like to live out his or her remaining life at home or elsewhere. 

By creating a Pennsylvania advance health care directive, you can decide when your appointed medical decision-maker can direct care on your behalf. The medical decision maker you appoint is called your durable medical power of attorney. You should select someone comfortable with enacting your expressed medical wishes. He or she should be comfortable with making them known to your doctor and the entire healthcare team. 

When Does an Advance Health Care Directive Take Effect?

When you create a direct health care directive, you can decide whether the durable medical power of attorney becomes the decision maker as soon as you complete the document and sign it or when you can no longer make your own choices. You will only be able to make one person your medical decision-maker. Still, you can choose whether your decision-maker must follow your wishes with no flexibility, some flexibility, or total flexibility. 

The Benefits of Creating an Advance Healthcare Directive

You have the right to accept or reject certain medical treatments, even if you are unable to communicate your preferences. You can accept or reject certain life-prolonging procedures, such as mechanical respiration and intravenous feeding. If you have lost the capacity to make these decisions on your own, due to being in a persistent vegetative state or coma, then an advance directive becomes extremely important.

An advance directive should address these uncertainties by allowing you to put your instructions regarding medical care in writing. You may be thinking you won’t benefit from an advance healthcare directive because you have a close family member you deeply trust to make decisions on your behalf. Creating a comprehensive advance care directive allows you to legally appoint him or her as your agent. 

Without legal documentation, it is possible another person you wouldn’t choose to be your agent could be appointed as your agent. Additionally, at the moment, your close loved one may be uncertain about what decisions you would want him or her to make for you. Clearly stating all of your preferences in writing will address these uncertainties and provide clear instructions, helping him or her feel confident about the medical decisions. 

Ultimately, an advanced healthcare director helps you protect your rights by putting your preferences in writing in a legal document. It allows your doctors to give you better care because they know your preferences and can make better decisions about your treatment. It also relieves your loved ones who may not want to make emotionally challenging decisions on your behalf. 

End-of-Life Issues an Advance Directive Should Include

Life and death issues can be difficult to face, but you must address these questions while you’re healthy and able to make decisions. One of the experienced attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace can help you draft an advanced healthcare directive that addresses the most common end-of-life situations and states your wishes in a clear, understandable way. 

Questions that should be considered if you are facing a medical condition that leaves you incapacitated with no hope for recovery, including whether or not you want the following interventions:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to restore breathing or a stopped heartbeat
  • Intravenous tube feeding or water
  • Mechanical respiration allows you to continue breathing by machine
  • Your medical provider to withhold treatment if the treatment would only prolong dying
  • To donate your tissues and organs
  • The maximum pain relief available even if it would hasten your death

Communicating Your End-of-Life Wishes

Depending on your situation and preferences, you may decide to share all of your decisions with your healthcare power of attorney now. When you appoint a power of attorney, you’ll need to ensure he or she is willing and able to enforce your wishes. Talking to your power-of-attorney now can help you make sure they are willing to do so. Appointing an alternate power of attorney is also important. 

Your first choice may be willing to act as your power of attorney now but may not be able to when you need him or her in the future. In that case, an alternate can step in and ensure your wishes are respected. The attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace can help you by diplomatically relating your treatment preferences to your doctors, caregivers, and family. We can also help in distributing your doctors among your healthcare providers, ensuring your wishes are acknowledged when decisions must be made swiftly. 

Questions About Advance Healthcare Directives? We Can Help

The Pittsburgh attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace understand how important it is for our clients to determine their own medical path. We provide clients with guidance, assurance, and practical help to ensure crucial end-of-life decisions are understood, legally documented, and honored when the time comes. 

Our law firm can give you a sense of control in an often uncontrollable situation, ensuring your voice is heard even when you may not be able to speak. Don’t hesitate to contact Jones Gregg Cree