Health Care Directives

A health care directive lets you declare your health care wishes and authorizes a health care agent to carry out those wishes in the event that you are unable to make health care decisions or are unable to communicate health care decisions. There is a lot in that sentence. First, it says that your health care directive is effective only during your incapacitation. Two physicians, or a physician and a psychologist, must determine the incapacitation and attach their written findings to your health care directive. Then, if incapacity exists, your health care agent will make health care decisions for you. Finally, any health care decision must be consistent with the declarations in your health care directive. However, if you are able to make and communicate your own health care decisions (no incapacity exists), your health care agent and the declarations in your health care directive have no effect.

In Wisconsin, your health care directive has two parts. The first part, often called a “living will,” is your declaration to physicians. In your declaration to physicians, you declare whether your physicians are to use life sustaining procedures if you are incapacitated and either terminally ill or permanently unconscious. The second part is your durable power of attorney for health care. In it, you appoint a health care agent to make health care decisions for you in the event of your incapacity. Again, these two parts comprising your health care directive only have an effect when you are unable to make or communicate health care decisions. If you are able to make and communicate health care decisions, your health care directive has no effect.

Contact Me

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. My phone number, mailing and email address are as provided:

Attorney Andrew P. Mongin

P.O. Box 11712

Green Bay, WI 54307-1712

(920) 288-2080

info@apmonginlaw.com

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