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The Healthcare Directive: Americans Are Rethinking Medical Options

When an individual is diagnosed with a terminal illness or a potentially fatal medical condition, drafting a healthcare directive with the help of a NY estate attorney can help.

The Associated Press reports that more and more Americans are literally being medically "treated to death." What does that mean? It means that Americans are opting to try out desperate measure medical treatments in order to prolong a life.

According to the AP, more than 80 percent of Americans who die in the United States have such prolonged medical conditions. Most Americans die from battles with cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease. However, when patients were asked in a study done by Dartmouth Atlas Project, more than 80 percent of them said that they wanted to avoid hospitalization and intensive care when they are dying.

Why is it that these patients are not necessarily getting their wishes fulfilled then?

This is where a patient who has a living will or healthcare directive can take control of this situation. A New York estate planning lawyer can a patient that a living will is a patient's wishes to healthcare providers that tell the providers about the types of treatment that the patient wants and does not want. The living will (also known as a healthcare directive) helps a patient make important healthcare decisions while the patient is still sound. It goes into effect should the patient become incompetent to make such decisions due to a medical condition.

If you have questions about a healthcare directive, you can call a New York estate planning lawyer. Just keep in mind that the New York State Bar Association provides free New York Living Wills and Healthcare Proxy forms on their site. It is provided to New Yorkers in English and Spanish as well as languages such as Chinese and Russian.

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