With some hospitals around the country reporting surges in COVID-19 cases, many hospital staff members, once again, are becoming overwhelmed and trying to keep up the pace to manage the influx of incoming patients.
Many hospitals have not been allowing family members in to see their loved ones. This can be a dangerous situation because if you haven’t prepared proper medical directives and appointed someone to act on your behalf, not only do you lose control, but the hospital’s staff members become the ones making the decisions for your health care, knowing nothing about you or your wishes.
When considering COVID-19 patients who have been hospitalized with serious symptoms, ventilators and intubation are procedures commonly used for life support treatment. Unfortunately, sometimes this leads to situations where the patient needs to be connected to machines to be kept alive.
There is some good news. There are people who have been hospitalized and who have survived treatments, more so than in the earlier days of the pandemic. Also, unlike before, there seems to be a better understanding of the disease and how to treat it. In light of this evidence, since not all medical directives are the same and treated equally, you may not want a blanket medical directive for specific treatments, because in the wrong hands, it could be risky.
Although the number of hospitalizations has been waxing and waning, the FAIR Health, an independent non-profit organization, surveyed certain hospitals and found mortality rates, dropped from 11.4% in March 2020 to below 5% in June, and the threshold has remained low for some time. The length of hospital stays has also been on the decline.
Whether you have specific instructions regarding your wishes, had meaningful conversations with family regarding your medical care, or have appointed and directed your agents to consult with authorities you trust to make decisions in the event you are faced with specific medical questions, it is crucial that you appoint the right people who will step in and promote your best interests in the event you are in a situation where you cannot speak for yourself.
Making sure your family members have a copy or at least know where your medical directives are located will go a long way to ensure your wishes are known and honored, and someone will have the legal authority to advocate on your behalf. Best practices include giving your primary agents and successor alternate agents a copy of your directives, along with any treating physicians you may have.
Although treatments are becoming more readily available, many people are still at risk, may become quite ill, and may even pass away from this terrible virus. This is why it is so important for you to take necessary precautions to ensure your wishes are know and you are protected with the right legal documentation that hospitals and medical facilities will recognize and accept.
Here at Monet Binder Law, PC, we don’t just draft one-size-fits-all documents. We focus on educating you and empowering you, so you can make informed decisions for yourself and the people in your life that matter most. Schedule your Family Estate Planning Session so you can get more financially organized and make the best choices for yourself and the people you love.
If you have not prepared your advance medical directives, or if you need to update your documents to ensure they reflect your current wishes, call today 718-514-7575, to get this taken care of, and gain peace of mind knowing you have done what you can. Call our office today and mention this article to get this session FREE of charge. This is a $500 value, but worth so much more. 718.514.7575