Medical Powers of Attorney and Directives

Why Doctors Choose to Die Differently

An article written by Dr. Jacquelyn Corley on CNN titled “Why Doctor’s Choose to Die Differently” explains why doctors are less likely to demand aggressive end-of-life care than the general public. In the article, Dr. Corley shares a story of a patient who had suffered a massive hypertensive hemorrhage. Within two days, tests revealed thatRead More

Storing Your Health Care Directives: There’s an App for That!

I have written before about the importance of having health care directives. These documents allow you to appoint a trusted family member or friend to make medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated. Having paper copies of these documents works really well if you know you’re going to be hospitalized. You can just take themRead More

Can I Sign a Medical Power of Attorney for Someone Else?

I got a phone call from a man last week seeking information on how to revoke a Medical Power of Attorney. After talking to him for a few minutes, I became confused. The man started the conversation saying that his father had signed the Medical Power of Attorney several years ago. His father now wantedRead More

Will my End-of-Life Wishes Be Honored if I am Pregnant?

Erick Munoz’s nightmare began on November 26 when he found his wife, who was 14 weeks pregnant, lying unconscious on their kitchen. Although she was rushed to the hospital, it was too late. Doctors at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas told the family Marlise Munoz was brain dead. Marlise, a paramedic, didn’tRead More

Can A Spouse Access Health Care Information Without A HIPAA Authorization?

A few weeks ago, my husband received a bill from a medical provider for some routine blood tests his physician had recommended. We had already received a bill for the same service, which was a fraction of the amount billed on the new invoice, so we were sure there must have been some mistake. BecauseRead More

Can a Comatose Patient Communicate End-Of-Life Wishes?

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned an article I read recently about a study that suggested 20 percent of the tens of thousands of  people in a vegetative state are able to communicate, but trapped in a body that does not allow them to do so. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine,Read More