Preparing for Serious Illness

Living Wills and Medical Power of Attorney determine health care

Medical technology has advanced to a point where death can be delayed for extended periods of time. That is good news if the patient is fully conscious. However, there are regrettably situations where the individual is brain-dead, but life support systems maintain life. This means an individual could be placed on a life-support system long after he or she has lost consciousness, with no hope of revival. This is not always something that a person wants but being unconscious cannot control. That is the essential reason for living wills and medical powers of attorney.

Allowing for Direction

Living Wills and Medical Powers Of Attorney are both documents of instruction. Living Wills let healthcare providers know what a person’s wishes are regarding life-support, and other end-of-life considerations. Medical Power Of Attorney designates an individual to make medical decisions on the patient’s behalf should that individual become incapacitated or unable to make decisions. Voluntary benefits that have such services assure that if a plan member is in a coma his or her choices regarding life-support will be respected. Group legal plans that offer this type of service eliminates the uncertainty that it end-of-life consideration might have.

A Strong Benefit for Human Resources

Human resources wants to provide voluntary benefits that are cost-effective, but also have the possibility of supporting the other employee benefits programs. Group legal services can do that. Living Wills and Medical Powers Of Attorney can impact the employee group health plan. Without either legal document, a person who is mentally incapacitated or in coma cannot make a decision to end any life-support system. This means that such equipment continues operating, and generating expensive claims experience that has to be covered by the group health plan. A Living Will or Medical Power Of Attorney can instruct the hospital to turn off the life-support systems and that ends the continuing cost. Human resources should not insist on people having living wills or medical powers of attorney; that is a personal decision. However, having group legal voluntary benefits at least allow a person the option to arrange for what is to be done in a severe medical situation.

Countrywide Service Helps Everyone

Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services has been developing group legal plans and other voluntary benefits since 1987. Our network of highly qualified attorneys can guide plan members through all of the language and requirements to develop a good legal will or medical power of attorney document. We are also able to set up a payroll deduction, so that a group legal plan is easy for any human resources department to administer. Our legal professionals are fully aware of how sensitive drafting either legal document can be. These lawyers have superior customer service skills, and treat all plan members with patience and sympathy. It is something that should be expected from any voluntary benefits company offers. We insist that good customer service be provided all the time.

Having to consider a living will or medical power of attorney is very sobering but important as well. Few people want to be kept on life support long after chances of recovery have vanished, if for no other reason than to ease the anguish of loved ones. Countrywide can help in the creation of those documents necessary for final life decisions. The work is done with sympathetic minds and gentle hands. We know this is a very stressful course of action, and our attorneys will take whatever time is necessary to draft a complete document. A plan member can then rest assured that his or her medical decisions will be executed as if he or she were totally cognizant and verbally giving instructions.

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