Kansas Legal Services Kansas Legal Services is a statewide legal services organization that seeks to help the impoverished with legal problems. KLS makes a difference by providing quality legal representation. Areas of practice include Domestic & Family Law, Landlord Tenant, Consumer Protection, Elder Law, Juvenile Law, Education Law, Disability, etc. Our focus is on the most vulnerable; the abused, the neglected, the elderly, the disabled & children. If you, or someone you know needs help, please call 800-723-6953 United Way Helps Here!
Elder Law Hotline The Elder Law Hotline is a phone number that anyone over the age of sixty (60) can call to get FREE legal advice on any number legal issues. If it is possible for us to help you over the phone we will do so, however, if you prefer to meet with an attorney in your area you can, just make the request. We also provide free legal services for the elderly for items such as powers of attorney, transfer on death deeds, simple wills, & living wills. We can sometime represent the elderly in divorces, PFA’s, collection and landlord tenant cases. 888-353-5337
Understanding Your Healhtcare Options The Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions The Living Will Declaration Do Not Resuscitate Directives/Orders
Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions A Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions is sometimes called the Healthcare Power of Attorney. It is a signed and witnessed (or notarized) legal document that allows a person to designate an agent to make health care decisions for them during a period of disability or incapacity. The person who holds the power of attorney is called the healthcare agent. Sometimes it is made to be durable.
Definitions Health Care Agent – The individual someone designates to make healthcare decisions when the individual cannot make or communicate those decisions. Health Care Decisions – We can define this as a group, but in the context of the types of decisions that can be made by the Health Care Agent. Durable – Next slide.
Durable Capable of withstanding wear and tear or decay, a durable fabric.Able to perform or compete over a long period, as by avoiding or overcoming injuries. Lasting; stable. In the context of healthcare durable means that the person you designate as your healthcare agent can still be your agent after you are out of it.
Compare & Contrast What is the difference between these two patients? What decisions can the patient on the right make that the one of the left cannot make? What simple decisions can the patient on the left be faced with? (be practical).
Important Facts about the POA for Healthcare The decisions made by the healthcare agent have the same force and effect as if they were made by the patient. The agent may not use the Power of Attorney to revoke or invalidate a previously existing Living Will Declaration. It is the duty of the attending physician to determine in accordance with the law, when the patient no longer has the capacity to make decisions for themselves (unless the Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions states otherwise). If the patient decides to revoke or change a Healthcare Power of Attorney the patient should do it in writing, and have the revocation witnessed or notarized.
A Living Will A Living Will declaration is a signed and notarized (or witnessed) document that allows a terminally ill patient to state in advance that their dying should not be artificially prolonged. K.S.A. 65-28,101 et seq. This decision may be made only by the patient. A living will cannot be made by a healthcare agent.
Avoiding Schiavo Please remember that The Living Will is a declaration. It only describes your wishes. It does not serve the same purpose as a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order. In an emergency, resuscitation will be provided, regardless of a Living Will, unless a DNR Order has also been written and shared. It is the declarant’s responsibility to notify the attending physician of the existence of the declaration. The physician should make a copy of the declaration part of the patient’s medical records.
Living Will vs POA The purpose of the living will is to notify your doctor that in the event your health is in such a condition where death will occur whether or not life sustaining procedures are utilized, and where application of life sustaining procedures will only serve to artificially prolong the dying process. Sometimes called “Pulling the plug.”
Do Not ResuscitateDirective/Order In a nutshell, a DNR Directive is a signed, dated and witnessed document that allows an adult to state in advance his/her decision that if his/her heart stops beating, or he/she stops breathing, that no medical procedure will be undertaken to restart the heart or breathing processes. The person executing a DNR directive must be a person who is an adult and competent when the document is signed. The document must also be signed by the attending physician as "medically appropriate" unless the person's church or religion recognizes treatment by spiritual means only. A DNR Directive is not effective unless it is signed by a physician. Patient’s give DIRECTIVES, Doctor’s give ORDERS!
Healthy People Should not have a DNR! Should either of these parents have a DNR?
If a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) is written, nothing will be done! NO chest compressions NO intubation NO defibrillation NO emergency drugs will be administered NO manual ventilation with a resuscitation bag will be performed In other words if you have a DNR Order, nothing will be done!
Kansas Legal Services Kansas Legal Services is a statewide legal services organization that seeks to help the impoverished with legal problems. KLS makes a difference by providing quality legal representation. Areas of practice include Domestic & Family Law, Landlord Tenant, Consumer Protection, Elder Law, Juvenile Law, Education Law, Disability, etc. Our focus is on the most vunerable; the abused, the neglected, the elderly, the disabled & children. If you, or someone you know needs help, please call 800-723-6953 United Way Helps Here!