An "Advance Health Care Directive", also known as a "healthcare power of attorney", lets your physician, family and friends know your health care preferences, including the types of special treatment you want or don't want at the end of life, your desire for diagnostic testing, surgical procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and organ donation. Under California state law, you have a legal right to express your health care wishes and to have them considered in situations when you are unable to make these decisions yourself.
Once you make the decision to prepare an Advance Health Care Directive, you should take a few basic steps prior to meeting with our firm.
1. Gather information for decision-making by speaking with your physician and other key people about health care treatment at the end of life.
2. Talk about your preliminary decisions with your family, physician and others who are close to you. Some questions to consider for discussion: What is important to you when you are dying? Are there specific medical treatments you especially want or do not want? When you are dying, do you want to be in a nursing home, hospital or at home? What are the options in Palliative Care/Pain Management and Hospice Care?
Once you have executed your Advance Health Care Directive, you should inform key people such as your doctor, family and close friends about your end-of-life preferences. Additionally, you should keep a copy of your signed and completed advance health care directive safe and accessible. This will help ensure that your wishes will be known at the critical time and carried out.
Finally, we encourage our clients to give duplicate original copies of your form to the person you appoint as your agent and to any alternate designated agents, your physician, your health care providers, and any other responsible person who is likely to be called if there is a medical emergency.
Prepare now to receive care if and when you are incapacitated in the future. This will be a gift your family of peace of mind in knowing that your most important wishes for end of life care will be honored.
Please contact us at 831-644-0300 to schedule a consultation or send us an email by . Weekend and evening appointments are available for established clients.