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Advance Medical Directive During Coronavirus

heart monitor at a hospital

Do you have an advance medical directive? What will happen to you if you are unconscious? What If you are put on a ventilator or need invasive surgery and cannot consent? The answer will lie with your “Next of Kin” who will be consulted on all matters other than resuscitation or to be taken off a ventilator if the hospital decides to use your bed for someone else. The problem with all of the above is that a spouse or parent may be too emotional to make the choice you want or may feel guilty for making a decision you may have wanted. The only real way to ensure your family and doctors know what to do is to draft an advance medical directive. Further, it times of emergency like now, It also helps to have a burial demand as cremation has become the default way to dispose of a body afflicted with corona virus and this can be done either your advance medical directive or in your will.

What is a Medical Directive?

An advance medical directive allows you to put your wishes into writing should the time come when you cannot express your wishes yourself. Most standard medical directives include a personal representative who will make specific decisions for you as well as directions for when you wish to be taken off life sustaining technology or whether or not you wish to be resuscitated (Shocked repeatedly with paddles and have CPR preformed on you). The advance medical directive  can be filed with your local hospitals so that things are clear as soon as you arrive.

How about demand for burial or cremation?

Furthermore, many people who are unconscious and may not have relatives in the area are being cremated upon dying with coronavirus. For most, this is against their religion. Having a burial demand as well on file with your advance medical directive will prevent this issue should something happen to you and your family be unable to stop the cremation in time. Generally. It is always good to prepare for the unexpected and have a medical directive prepared.

Please visit the resources from the Virginia State Bar related to healthcare decisions and medical directives.