Please repeat after me: “Prescott Cactus is not a lawyer and isn’t giving legal advice”. Thanks !
The paperwork I show below is usually available on the website your State maintains. The italicized, quote boxed wording below is from the State of Arizona forms on the internet.
So now death. The next step beyond hospice. Yesterday you should have completed all your plans about dying. It is a process and wether you come to it slowly and naturally or as quickly as you adjust the radio station on your boom box near your the shower. Providing a game plan will make things SO much easier for those left behind. They will also help to assure that your wishes are fulfilled and that you begin to realize that we are here for just a short stay on this spinning piece of rock.
Docs, Hospital and designee should have copies and you should have original of all of these.
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You may want a “Durable Health Care Power of Attorney”. (AZ Example)
If you want to select a person to make future health care decisions for you so that if you become too ill or cannot make those decisions for yourself the person you choose and trust can make medical decisions for you. Talk to your family, friends, and others you trust about your choices. Also, it is a good idea to talk with professionals such as your doctor, clergyperson and a lawyer before you sign this form.
This lets the one(s) you chose guide you toward the light when you are unable to make the decision yourself. If your written request to Nephew Billy is to turn off the oxogen and defibrillator when things break bad, it doesn’t take effect as long as you are conscious. You still make the call. You are providing guidance to someone you trust who will hopefully follow your wishes if you are unable.
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You may want a “Durable Mental Health Care Power of Attorney” (AZ Example)
The Durable Mental Health Care Power of Attorney form if you want to appoint a person to make future mental health care decisions for you if you become incapable of making those decisions for yourself. The decision about whether you are incapable can only be made by an Arizona licensed psychiatrist or psychologist who will evaluate whether you can give informed consent. Be sure you understand the importance of this document. Talk to your family members, friends, and others you trust about your choices. Also, it is a good idea to talk with professionals such as your doctor, clergyperson, and a lawyer before you sign this form.
This lets you decide who calls the shots when the brain train comes off the tracks. Choose wisely dear reader as it’s an important one !
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You may want a Living Will (End of Life Care) (AZ Example)
Use this Living Will form to make decisions now about your medical care if you are ever in a terminal condition, a persistent vegetative state or an irreversible coma. You should talk to your doctor about what these terms mean. The Living Will states what choices you would have made for yourself if you were able to communicate. It is your written directions to your health care representative if you have one, your family, your physician, and any other person who might be in a position to make medical care decisions for you. Talk to your family members, friends, and others you trust about your choices. Also, it is a good idea to talk with professionals such as your doctor, clergyperson and a lawyer before you complete and sign this Living Will.
Think Theresa Marie “Terri” Schiavo. Make your wishes known. Make it easier for those who need to make important decisions on your behalf. Your Durable Health Care Power of Attorney would be able to make these decisions for you if they are present and available. If not . . .
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You may want a Letter To My Representative: (AZ Example)
Arizona law allows me to make certain medical and financial decisions as to what I
want in the future if I become unable or incapable of making certain decisions for myself. I have completed the following document(s), and I want you to be my representative or alternate representative for the following purposes.
(Initial or check one or more of the following):
_____1. Durable Health Care Power of Attorney
_____2. Durable Mental Health Care Power of Attorney
Allows you to name a Representative and an Alternate Representative for the above 2 positions.
You may (or may not) want a Prehospital Medical Care Directive aka DNR or DO NOT RESUSCITATE. (AZ Example)
A Prehospital Medical Care Directive is a document signed by you and your doctor that informs emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or hospital emergency personnel not to resuscitate you. Sometimes this is called a DNR – Do Not Resuscitate. If you have this form, EMTs and other emergency personnel will not use equipment, drugs, or devices to restart your heart or breathing, but they will not withhold medical interventions that are necessary to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.
IMPORTANT: Under Arizona law a Prehospital Medical Care Directive or DNR must be on letter sized paper or wallet sized paper on an orange background to be valid.
OK, if you are close to grabbing a seat in God’s waiting room you may want a DNR. If your gorgeous 30 year old body was just in a bad car wreck, you don’t want to have this card next to your drivers license.
Two things that you should know before you go. Last Will and Testament or perhaps even a Revocable Living Trust. These are means in which to disperse your worldly belongings when you depart. IMPORTANT ! ! !
Finely, about departure. We all go different ways.
Please know that the process of death is different with every person.
I’ll share some very, very general observations I’ve had.
Increased fatigue and sleeping with a decreased appetite.
Patient eventually stops eating and drinking do to lack of desire.
(Ice chips if allowed and wet sponge thingee’s)
Sleep becomes almost constant, though still responsive while awake.
Full time sleep, still responsive to touch and lastly sounds.
Patient becomes non responsive to any stimuli.
2 to 4 days after last food and water active dying usually begins.
The first sign of active dying is mottling (mark with spots or smears of color.) usually on feet and then hands.
Life ceases within 12 to 24 hours.
Thoughts? Something to share ?