‘No Intubation’: Seniors Fearful Of COVID Are Changing Their Living Wills
For older adults contemplating what might happen to them during this pandemic, ventilators can be terrifying.
These machines pump oxygen into a patient’s body while he or she lies in bed, typically sedated, with a breathing tube snaked down the windpipe.
Older COVID patients often spend long periods of time on ventilators. If they survive, they’re likely to be extremely weak, suffering from delirium and in need of months of ongoing care and physical rehabilitation.
For some seniors, this is their greatest fear: being hooked to a machine, helpless, with the end of life looming. For others, there is hope that the machine might pull them back from the brink.
Advance directives and living wills can address these concerns. Such documents can state if you want to be placed on a ventilator, and if so, for how long. Language such as: “give a ventilator a try, but discontinue it if improvement isn’t occurring” or: “give me high-flow oxygen and anti-biotics, but not a ventilator” is perfectly legal.
But, remember, you need to do this in writing and the document needs to be witnessed. And, you need to do this before you become ill – you won’t be able to communicate your concerns or execute documents once you become seriously ill.
The Law Office of Debra G. Simms has created a Living Will for COVID. But, don’t wait until it’s too late.
Call the Law Offices of Debra G. Simms at 386.256.4882 to learn more. We are currently offering free consultations via video conference to assist you with your needs.
This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.