TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) It’s something you never want to think about but when you or a family member are in a medical emergency, having advanced directives are crucial.
This week has been devastating for Judy Moler and her family. Judy’s brother Scott passed away on Thursday, following a medical emergency earlier this year.
“He got really in trouble about March 7th, when he fell and had surgeries, got an infection, and really many times was not in his own mind,“ said Moler.
Judy said Scott has not been in the right state of mind, to make appropriate medical decisions for years. Five years ago, he made Judy his power of attorney.
“He might have made bad decisions. He really wanted to go home which was not a possibility.”
Deeming someone as your Durable Power of Attorney is just one of two parts of a person’s Advanced Directive Forms.
“There’s two forms actually. One is a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and that’s where you name someone to speak for you for your healthcare decisions, in the event that you’re unable and then the other part is the Advanced Directives or the Living Will. That’s where you designate in writing what you would or would not in terms of healthcare if you’re unable to speak for yourself,” explains Patty Morgan, a social worker at Stormont Vail.
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, around two thirds of Americans do not have living wills; something social workers say makes medical emergencies even more stressful.
“It creates a lot less stress on families, when they haven’t had these discussions ahead of time; what to do, decisions to make. It’s so traumatic if you haven’t talked about it.”
Now days, many health facilities automatically ask you for these documents. The good news is, they’re easy to obtain and complete.
“Any form works off of a website. Most states honor whatever or wherever your form is from. It actually doesn’t have to be notarized. If you have two witnesses that are non-family members it doesn’t even need to be notarized.”
Always make sure your documents are stored in a safe place that is easy to find.