Adults living in Nevada, regardless of their age, may benefit from having a living will. Also known as an advance directive, a living will gives instructions to doctors regarding end-of-life care and eases the burden on family members who may have to make a decision on whether to keep their loved one on life support. A health care proxy who makes decisions for a patient in cases where they are incapacitated can be designated on the form.
As medicine and technology advance, life expectancies in Nevada and throughout the United States are increasing. Along with longer lifespans come increasing complexities. For instance, it is likely that at some point, most people will need to make an important medical decision. In some cases, the person may not be able to express his or her own wishes concerning medical care. One way to deal with this situation is to grant a trusted relative or friend power of attorney to make medical decisions on an individual's behalf. This person is known as a health care proxy, and these advance preparations are known as health directives.
Nevada allows individuals to file their living will, health care powers of attorney, and do-not-resuscitate orders with the Nevada Secretary of State through a program called Lockbox. Because people may not always be in a position to provide their doctors with these documents, Lockbox helps ensure medical providers are able to access these important documents in the event of illness or emergency.
Many residents of Nevada may be concerned about the health care decisions that would be made on their behalf if they were to become incapacitated by illness or injury. A living will communicates the health care wishes of an individual, but a health care power of attorney actually designates another person to make these important decisions. This person could be authorized to stipulate the forms of treatment to be employed and when the decision would be made to withhold treatment.
Some gifts are better than others. Many Nevada residents would probably love to receive the gift of jewelry, a new car or perhaps even a fabulous vacation. However, many times the intangible things given are worth much more in the long run. One gift to consider giving to family members is the gift of not having to debate and decide what one would want in the case of an accident or life-threatening illness. This gift can be given in the form of a living will and health care powers of attorney.
The average Nevada resident would most likely prefer to die peacefully in his or her sleep after living a full life. This will be the case for some; however, others will be faced with sudden accidents and illnesses that can at times leave them unable to state their preferences. When this happens, if the individual has given a trusted person a health care power of attorney and has established a living will, the decision-making process can align with the individual's wishes.