End-of-life care is a struggle for many in New Jersey. Even with a living will, many elderly are kept alive against their wishes due to a lack of proper legal counsel and documentation. To help clarify this complex part of law, April 16th has been designated as this year’s National Healthcare Decisions Day.
Hosted in Moorestown, New Jersey at the Virtua Health & Wellness Center, people are welcomed to come to the event to seek free advice from legal professionals.
A recent poll indicated that over 50% of people that live in New Jersey do not have any legal documentation, stating what their wishes are in terms of end-of-life treatment. Furthermore, 38% of people didn’t even discuss their wishes with their family. This means a person may be kept alive even if it is against their wishes.
It is recommended that everyone have a living will that is reviewed and revised annually to meet the person’s wishes. This information should be given to healthcare providers so that a person’s wishes are upheld.
While federal laws do require all health facilities allowing Medicare to follow end-of-life documentation, not all of them do. The biggest issue is that even when required by law, many facilities do not follow this documentation. An oversight, or a lack of proper documentation is often the cause.
A new document, called the Practitioners Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, is recommended. This document is to be followed under government law, or the healthcare provider will be subject to penalties.
Living wills are often not enough to help a person with end-of-life wishes. Proper legal guidance and documentation will ensure your wishes are followed even when you’re not medically sound.
The April 16th event will last from 1pm to 4:30pm and will include workshops, elder law attorneys, free health screenings and more.
Registration can be made by calling (609) 707-7339.