Advanced Directives for Healthcare
Oregon Advanced Directives for Healthcare and Power of Attorney
The vast majority of individuals do not like to think about death or dying, thus they avoid doing so.
Until they are forced to plan.
Everyone must have advance directives in place since even the healthiest person might have a sudden accident and be unable to communicate for herself. However, if you are terminally ill, it is especially important to spell out your preferences in a legal document in case you are unable to express them yourself in the future. A reliable estate planning law firm can help you out in drafting your own legally binding documents.
Oregon has adopted a new Advance Directive for Health Care form effective September 25, 2021. Those who have already performed such a directive do not need to re-execute it since it will continue to be effective.
The Oregon advance directive, also known as medical power of attorney, provides a capable adult, or the “principal”, the opportunity to empower a competent health care representative to carry out medical decision making on the principal’s behalf if he or she becomes incapable of making those decisions. In addition, that person may give the representative personal instructions that convey the principal’s preferences regarding certain healthcare treatments, such as healthcare directives, as well as information about the principal’s religious beliefs, which is becoming increasingly common.
When the individual is suffering from a serious illness and is unable to make medical decisions for himself or herself, the advance directive is effective. If the principal is unable to make decisions for himself or herself, the health care representative generally has the same decision-making authority as the principal did when he or she was able to do so. The health care representative may also receive information about any proposed care, have access to the principal’s medical records, and have the authority to disclose the principal’s medical records to others.
The principal will indicate whether the principal wishes to try all available medical treatment to sustain the principal’s life, try to sustain the principal’s life with artificial feeding and hydration but no other treatment, withhold all treatments to sustain the principal’s life, or allow the health care representative to make the decision.
There are three types of situations:
- terminal disease;
- advanced progressive illness; and
- complete and total unconsciousness.
The representative cannot withhold or remove life-sustaining operations or artificially delivered nourishment and hydration if the principal opposes them, even if the principal cannot do so on his or her own. In the new form, a principal can prioritize which activities contribute to his or her quality of life and may choose from a list of everyday activities that, if the principal were unable to perform them, would determine whether or not the principal would want life-sustaining measures such as communicating with family, friends, and others, being free of long-term severe pain and suffering, knowing the principal’s and others’ identities, not being hooked up to a machine, and living without being hooked up to a machine. In addition, the principal may offer examples of his or her ideas.
What Are the Two Types of Advanced Directives in Oregon?
There are two types of advance directives:
1. Living will
There are different types of wills. A living will expresses the principal’s choices for specific types of life-sustaining therapies and may be found here. You may, for example, specify whether you want or do not want procedures like cardiopulmonary-resuscitation, tube feeding, and artificial breathing performed on your behalf.
2. Power of attorney
An advance directive for power of attorney designates someone you trust to act on your behalf if you are unable to communicate for yourself. If you desire to appoint one person to speak on your behalf in healthcare concerns and another to make financial choices, you might execute separate financial and healthcare power of attorney documents.
What steps do you need to take to make your Oregon Advance Directive legal?
It is required by law that you sign your document, or that you request someone close to you to sign it. For your document to be legitimate, it must either be witnessed and signed by at least two adults, or it must be notarized by a notary public. Here, you can make your wishes known.
Your health care representative, substitute health care representative, or attending health care professional are not permitted to serve as your witnesses. Everyone who witnesses you signing the paper or acknowledges any other manner by which you approved the Advance Directive or form designating a health care representative is required to sign the document with you.
You must have one witness if you are a patient in a long-term care facility who has been chosen by your institution and who meets the qualifications set out by the Department of Human Resources.
How do you choose a health care agent?
Your health care representative is the person you select to carry out patient wishes. Your health care representative may be a family member or close friend in whom you have placed your confidence to make significant choices in the event that you can no longer speak for yourself. The person you choose as your health care representative should have a firm grasp on your desires and be prepared to undertake the responsibility of making health care choices on your behalf.
You may designate an alternative health care representative in case you will be unable to speak. If the first person you designate as a health care representative is incapable, unwilling, or unable to act on your behalf, the alternative will step in.
Unless the person you appoint as your health care representative is related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption, the person you appoint as your health care representative cannot be:
- your healthcare provider or an employee of your attending physician; or
- the owner, operator, or employee of a health care facility in which you are a patient or resident, unless you appointed him or her as your health care representative before admission to the facility.
Additionally, you cannot nominate your parent or previous guardian without a court order if you were ever taken from their care and a court revoked your parent’s parental rights or ordered you permanently removed from your former guardian’s home for safety concerns.
Hire the Top Estate Planning Law Firm in Oregon
Whether you create a living will, medical power of attorney, or both, you must make your selections legally enforceable in writing. If the time has come to create a durable power of attorney, you should see an experienced Oregon estate planning attorney. The law office of Michael D. O’Brien can give you the best results so you would not have to worry about anything. Talk to us now for a free case evaluation.
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