Living Will or Advanced Medical Directive
Our readers may remember the case of Terry Schiavo, the Florida woman who required life support beginning in 1990. Mrs. Schiavo's husband fought for years in the Florida legal system for his right to terminate life support, while her parents fought for the right to keep Mrs. Shiavo alive. The legal battle continued for fifteen years until the Florida courts allowed Michael Schiavo to have his way. Even after Mrs. Shiavo's death, her family members continued to battle over what to do with her remains.
The primary question before the courts was whether Terry Schiavo wanted to be kept alive by artificial medical means, even if doctors believed she would never regain consciousness. If Mrs. Schiavo had prepared a living will prior to falling into an incapacitated state, perhaps the courts would have reached a decision sooner, or the family may not have contested the matter in the first place.
A living will, or advanced directive, is a legally binding document that allows a person to make desires for medical treatment known before the need arises. The four types of advanced directives recognized in Texas are: Medical Power of Attorney, Directives to Physicians or Family or Surrogates, Out of Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order, and Declaration for Mental Health Treatment.
Preparing an advance directive or living will can save those you love from the burden of trying to guess your wishes or from trying to convince others of your wishes if an accident or illness leaves you in a vegetative state. For help drafting a Texas Living Will, contact the lawyers at the Peterson Law Group. Call us today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681 to schedule an appointment.