TIPS IN TIMES OF COVID
REVIEW YOUR DOCUMENTS
It is not uncommon for severe cases of coronavirus to be treated by intubating the patient and using a ventilator to assist with breathing. It is also not uncommon for an Advance Health Care Directive or a Living Will to expressly prevent intubation. Given current treatment of COVID patients, this could be a death sentence.
In addition to intubation, there are experimental treatments being explored to treat patients with COVID, such as a drug called Remdesivir. If your health care directive or living will state that you want no experimental treatments administered to you, if you cannot make health care decisions for yourself, this too, could slow your recovery from this terrible virus.
We are currently drafting new Health Care Directives and, in some cases, even one-page addendums to clients' current directives that give special instructions relative to the COVID pandemic. If you do not have an Advance Health Care Directive, or if you are unsure whether it will effect your wishes at this time, please contact me.
Do you have an Advance Health Care Directive?
If so, do you know where it is?
We recommend that you create an "Emergency Envelope" that is easily accessible and portable in case of emergency. To do this, make copies of your critical documents, including your Health Care Directive, Living Will and HIPAA Release. Then place the copies in an envelope along with critical information including:
- Detailed list of all known medical conditions
- Detailed list of all medications
- Detailed list of all vitamins and supplements
- Health insurance information.
If you do become ill and need to go to the hospital, you can grab the envelope on the way out.
Another idea is to save an electronic version of your documents in an online cloud portal that loved ones can access. That portal should be accessible by a smart phone app so that you can retrieve your documents from anywhere. Our estate planning clients leave with all executed documents saved on a USB drive, which they can then copy, save and send to their fiduciaries.
Does your Health Care Directive prevent intubation?
Does it allow for experimental treatments?