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What Advanced Medical Directives Are Available in Texas?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Fort Bend County advance medical directives attorney

Advanced medical directives allow a person to communicate his or her wishes about potential future medical treatments. These documents may be created along with a medical power of attorney, which designates a person to oversee medical decisions during times when someone is unable to do so on his or her own. Deciding to seek out an estate planning attorney and create advanced medical directives can seem unnecessary if a person is young and healthy; however, planning for the future is the best way to avoid unpredictable outcomes if things take a turn for the worse.

There are various types of advanced directives. Some people may choose to use just one of the options, while others may complete all of the available legal documents.  

A Living Will

A living will explains what medical treatments you would and would not like to be performed in the event that you cannot make the decision yourself. These will typically focus on end-of-life care treatments. Some examples are necessary dialysis, feeding tubes, and artificial respiration. A living will forces an individual to consider his or her values and wishes for the future. Although it may be difficult to make decisions regarding life and death, one must look at the quality of life he or she is willing to have in order to keep living.

Declaration for Mental Health Treatment

This legal document helps someone determine what would happen in the event of a mental health crisis. The document lists out different treatments available to mental health patients, allowing the signee to list out the treatments to which they consent and those they do not. The Texas Declaration for Mental Health Treatment form has sections regarding psychoactive medications, convulsive treatments (e.g. electroshock therapy), and preferences for emergency treatment. These include restraint, seclusion, and medication. The signee must have two witnesses who are not relatives. The purpose of a declaration for mental health is to make treatment decisions while in a sound state of mind, thus taking control over a situation that could be out of the patient’s hands later.

Out-of-Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Order

This is the most well-known type of medical directive. A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form allows people to decide they do not want to be resuscitated or alternatively, which form of resuscitation they will allow to be used on them. Common examples are cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), advanced airway management, defibrillation, artificial ventilations, and transcutaneous cardiac pacing. After completing the legal documentation, some people purchase medical alert bracelets so first responders can be notified of their wishes before administering treatment.

Contact a Houston, TX Estate Planning Lawyer

Thinking about potential medical problems is a difficult but necessary part of life. Whether it is due to old age or an unexpected emergency, your future health is unknown, which is why it is a good idea to plan ahead as much as you can. At The Foray Firm, we have years of experience preparing people for the unpredictable. If you are over the age of 21, you need to make plans for your future. Contact our knowledgeable Houston estate planning attorneys at 832-919-6400 for help.

 

Sources:

https://www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/understanding-financial-and-legal-matters/advance-directives/types-of-advance-health-care-directives.html

https://hhs.texas.gov/laws-regulations/forms/advance-directives

state bar of texas The National Bar Association AILA Fort Bend County HLA
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