Jump to Navigation

Contact Form

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Office Location

Aventura Corporate Center
20801 Biscayne Boulevard
Suite 400
Miami, FL 33180

305-932-2293 Miami-Dade County
954-760-7077 Broward County

Subscribe to RSS Feed FindLaw Network

Living will vital for dictating medical treatment

An all too familiar and tragic scenario plays out in hospitals in Florida and throughout the rest of the United States far too often.

When a loved one enters the hospital and is so sick or incapacitated that they cannot express their wishes to doctors, medical professionals must follow the direction of an advance directive or living will -- provided that the patient has had these documents drafted. Sadly, many individuals have neglected to memorialize their wishes in these important documents

In a living will or advance direction, a person can detail how they would like to be treated in such situations. Some men and women prefer doctors not to take aggressive action if their quality of life looks grim. Others want doctors to do everything they can to keep them alive. This is why an advance directive or living will is so important.

This is also why the absence of one creates a sticky situation.

In situations where there is no advance directive or living will, a doctor will continue to treat a patient as long as he or she has a chance at recovering. While doctors are instructed to do that, family members will often intervene and try to make a different argument. But, without an advance directive or living will to confirm that argument, a doctor's hands are tied. With modern medicine, doctors can keep an individual alive for a long time. This might not necessarily be a good thing, as a patient could suffer debilitating effects from this prolonged treatment.

Men and women are instructed to consult a qualified estate planning attorney and adopt an advance directive or living will that contains their wishes in these situations. Even men and women who are married need one as their spouse could disagree with doctors during treatment.

One physician admitted that fellow doctors will sometimes push for prolonged treatment to make money. But, that same doctor disclosed that they do not want to be the ones responsible for taking hope away by ceasing treatment.

These are important decisions that should not be in the hands of doctors who may sometimes have a hidden agenda. Patients can control this situation through a living will.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Do yourself a favor: Fill out a living will," Luis Fabregas, March 24, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information