As part of your estate plan, a Health Care Power of Attorney, otherwise known as a Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death, allows you to put in writing your wishes about life-sustaining procedures in the event you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. A Health Care Power of Attorney takes effect when you are unable to communicate, and you are not expected to recover. With the Health Care Power of Attorney, you can predetermine what treatment should or should not be administered in the future, such as whether you want to be placed on a ventilator or be given a feeding tube.
In South Carolina, “life-sustaining procedures” are any medical procedures or interventions which would serve only to prolong the dying process and where, in the judgment of the attending physician, death will occur whether or not the procedures are utilized. Life-sustaining procedures do not include the administration of medication or other treatment for comfort care or alleviation of pain.
A “terminal condition” is an incurable or irreversible condition that, within reasonable medical judgment, could cause death within a reasonably short period of time if life-sustaining procedures are not used.
“Permanent unconsciousness” is a medical diagnosis consistent with accepted medical practice standards. A person is in a persistent vegetative state or other irreversible condition and has no neocortical functioning but only involuntary vegetative or primitive reflex functions controlled by the brain stem.
If you need an attorney in Summerville or Charleston to help you create a Health Care Power of Attorney, please contact The Suttles Law Firm to schedule an appointment today.
Send Us a Message