As a progressive disease that eventually robs many patients of the ability to speak or move, there may come a point where ALS makes it impossible to articulate your wishes. If you are suffering from ALS, medical and estate planning become extremely important to make sure everyone knows what you want.
Why Power of Attorney Is Important for ALS Patients in New York
A standard power of attorney puts someone in charge of another person’s finances while they are incapacitated. A medical power of attorney works the same way, but instead puts a proxy in charge of another person’s healthcare decisions. Essentially, you assign a friend or loved one to make life or death decisions on your behalf. A healthcare proxy granted power of attorney will specifically handle topics like:
- Continuing treatment in the event of imminent death or prolonged coma
- Decisions about organ and tissue donation
- Pain management plans
- Receiving or denying a feeding tube
- Removing life-sustaining treatment
Having a power of attorney in place helps both you and your loved ones. You get to plan ahead for how you want to be treated, and your family is made aware of your beliefs so they can act accordingly. A proxy also helps avoid potential conflicts by placing one person in charge when there could be a strong difference of opinion between your family members.
Your proxy can potentially be any adult 18 or over, whether they are a family member or a close friend. Taking up this role is a big responsibility, so be sure to pick someone up to the task who understands your values. You will need to discuss all of the topics above with your proxy so they are on the same page about life-sustaining treatments.
The most crucial aspect of granting medical power of attorney is to go through the process before it is needed and to work with an experienced attorney to ensure medical directives are drafted properly. Keep in mind that rules for power of attorney are updated in New York from time to time. Your attorney can make sure you have the most up-to-date information so you make the right decisions.
Talk to a Lawyer About Medical Power of Attorney Today
When dealing with any progressive disease like ALS, you should strongly consider a healthcare proxy and other advanced medical directives as soon as possible. Talk to a legal professional who is aware of what you are going through and has the knowledge to protect your legal rights. Call Alatsas Law Firm today to set up a consultation and discuss your options.