Veiws On Living Wills

  1. hi! IM NAD I AM STARTING TO STUDY GENERAL NURSING AT MANCHESTER UNI IN SEP ONE OF THE TOPICS IN MY RESEARCH AT THE COLLAGE I AM NOW AT IS THAT OF "LIVING WILLS" IN THE U.S IT IS QUITE LEGAL TO MAKE A LIVING WILL WERE-AS OVER HERE IN THE UK IT IS JUST BEING DISCUSSED IN PARLIMENT. AS NURSES OR STUDENT NURSES I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR VEIWS ON THIS SUBJECT AS IT WOULD BE A GREAT ASSET IN MY ASSIGMENT.
    THANKS
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    About nad

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 3

    5 Comments

  3. by   ageless
    Living wills alone have no power unless one has a power of attorney over their healthcare to enforce the wishes of the incapacitated. Without this, unfortunately, the deceased patient never sues, but the family members who cannot agree do.
  4. by   suzanne4
    A Living Will gives permission to another person, whether family member, friend, attorney, etc. to make medical decicions for you, if you become incapacitated and can no longer do this for yourself. This is why they are usually notorized and other people have a copies of it so that your wishes may be carried out. A few of the legal details may vary from state to state in the US, but it is accepted in all.

    They are considered a legally binding document..................
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from nad
    hi! IM NAD I AM STARTING TO STUDY GENERAL NURSING AT MANCHESTER UNI IN SEP ONE OF THE TOPICS IN MY RESEARCH AT THE COLLAGE I AM NOW AT IS THAT OF "LIVING WILLS" IN THE U.S IT IS QUITE LEGAL TO MAKE A LIVING WILL WERE-AS OVER HERE IN THE UK IT IS JUST BEING DISCUSSED IN PARLIMENT. AS NURSES OR STUDENT NURSES I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR VEIWS ON THIS SUBJECT AS IT WOULD BE A GREAT ASSET IN MY ASSIGMENT.
    THANKS
    Hi, Nad, and welcome!

    Just a little FYI on Net etiquette.......typing in all capital letters indicates that you are shouting! It's also really hard on the eyes.

    In Oregon, where I live, there are several ways of indicating what one would want should he/she become incapacitated. One of the most common is the advanced directive, called "Directive to Physicians", which spells out what
    you want done for you (e.g., tube feedings vs. no tube feedings or only for a limited time) as well as who you want making decisions about your health care. There is also the POLST, or Physician's Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, which is a bright pink one-page document denoting what kind of treatment you want in case of catastrophic illness (Resuscitate vs. Do Not Resuscitate, antibiotics, comfort care etc.).

    I don't know much about the so-called living will, but this is something that I think requires the services of an attorney, while the other documents can be filled out by the patient and the physician (as in the POLST) or filled out by the patient and witnessed by two adults who have no personal interest in the patient's affairs (as with the AD).

    Hope this helps.
  6. by   barbiedee
    Hi Nad and welcome! I'm from Canada, so have a little bit different slant on things. Up here, a living will is pretty much the same as an advanced directive. It has nothing to do with a "will" persay, but it is a legal document outlining your specific wishes if you become incapacitated and are unable to verbally direct your physician and family. I just completed an advanced directive for myself last week, and with two witness signatures it becomes my legal directive on what healthcare procedures I would like carried out if I am ever unable to communicate my wishes personally. It also designates a primary and a secondary person who can make decisions about any healthcare procedures which I have not specifically addressed. It also outlines one's preferences regarding organ donation. I do not believe either document has to be done with a lawyer, two unrelated witness signatures are all that is required. A 'living will' is often a more general document, whereas an advanced directive can be very specific, but basically they both do the same thing.
    Good luck with your studies!
  7. by   grinnurse
    The most important thing about any of these documents is to speak to who ever you want to make those decisions for you if you can't. You need to have someone whom you trust to carry out your wishes. You will be able to explain to them what each thing means, esp on the Medical Power of Attny. The Living Will only needs to be notarized where as the MPA has to be done through a lawyer and that may vary from state to state. Don't forget your DNR too!! Though the DNR doesn't hold much weight if someone else in the family that is there at the time the patient codes wants rescucitation (sp).

    You can download most of the documents free of charge off the internet and in almost any language.

    This is also a good time to discuss organ donation and how that plays into the LW or MPA. We had to do our own LW this semester for an assignment and this was way b/f the Terry Schiavo case got in the media. Which was good. My hubby knows what I want but I needed to speak with another family member b/c I didn't consider the fact that he and I could have something happen to us together. Also, if applicable, include your children in the conversation if they are of the age to be able to state what they would want done. Of course depending on the situation DNR doesn't matter with children b/c of course you would try to save them, but, worst case you can't they need to know they have a choice in what happens to them at time of death as well. My dau. who is 10 chose organ donation (made me proud). This a very hard conversation to have with family members but needed.

    Sorry for the rambling and personal input but this is one of my goals as a nurse is to have every one of my patients at least know about LW and MPA.

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