Whatâ€™s in a word? When it comesto making specific plans for your end-of-life health care decisions, a word can make all the difference. Andwhen it comes to your health care directives, the words you choose can be amatter of life and death.
A recent post over at The New Old Age Blog in â€œDNR by Another Nameâ€ illustrates theimportance of words and their legal import. It is worth reading the originalarticle (and perhaps even the study it discusses).
Consider this: how a doctorpresents a medical choice can lead a caregiver or patient in one direction orthe other. For example, as taken from the title of the article, DNR, or â€œDo NotResuscitateâ€ is a medical term of art. However, it often means the same asâ€œplease allow for a natural deathâ€depending upon the medical situation, the decisions of the patient, and even(or often exclusively) the very word choices and/or mood of the doctorthemselves.
As one planning your ownlate-in-life decisions, language is a topic worthy of your carefulconsideration. Additionally, if you are caring for an elderly loved one, thenbe sure both of you understand your loved oneâ€™s advance health care wishes andtake steps to clearly articulate them in proper medical directives.
Do not assume anything when itcomes to the ultimate health care decisions. Make sure the patient, theirappointed health care agent and the physician are all speaking the samelanguage.
Communication and documentationare essential.
For more information on this and otherestate planning subjects, contact IdahoEstate Planning and schedule aconsultation. Remember,good planning is no accident.