By Chris Meyer
The continuing advancements in cell phone technology have made life more and more convenient for people. One question that we are often asked is “should I keep a copy of my Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will on my smart phone?”
The first response to that question is that not everyone chooses to establish a Living Will. In your legal healthcare documents, you actually have the ability to choose whether or not you want a Living Will. One common misconception is that without a Living Will, the physicians will keep you on life support if you are in a permanently unconscious state with no hope of recovery. In reality, as part of your Health Care Power of Attorney documents, you can actually designate that you want your current acting Health Care Power of Attorney to make the final decision about whether or not life support should be removed. Establishing a Living Will gives a direct command to the hospital to remove life support if you are in a permanently unconscious state. Every person’s situation is different, and there are pros and cons to either decision. This is something that should be discussed in advance and not a decision that should be taken lightly.
In terms of whether or not your Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will on your smart phone, the answer to that question is yes – just make sure that the person who will act as your Healthcare Power of Attorney knows how to get to it. Having a copy of your Health Care Power of attorney and Living Will on your smart phone will provide you quick and easy access to them if your hospital would need to see them. Not only will these documents alert the hospital as to whether or not you wish to have life support removed if you are in a permanently unconscious state, but it will also provide information about who your current Health Care Power of Attorney is and how to contact them. Your Health Care Power of Attorney has the ability to make any health care related decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and are unable to make these decisions on your own.
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