Remember Terri Schiavo? At age 27, Terri suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. She never regained consciousness.
Terri Schiavo's family endured a long legal battle and public scrutiny because they could not agree on what Terri would have wanted. Terri's family was bitterly divided because they could not agree on whether she would have wanted to die with dignity and not linger in a persistent vegetative state or whether she would have wanted to fight for any chance of life, in any condition. Because Terri did not have a Living Will, no one knows whether she received the care and ultimately the type of death that she would have wanted. If Terri had drafted a Living Will (also called an "Advance Directive" or an "Advance Health Care Directive") her wishes would have been upheld without years of fighting between the people who loved her.
The Schiavo case illustrates the heartache and litigation that can take place without a Living Will. A Living Will provides written directives and documentation to ensure that your wishes are executed, the person you wish to represent your interests is not challenged, your family and loved ones are spared doubt, guilt, divisiveness, and unnecessary legal expenses.
The Living Will provides important instructions about the level of health care that you want in the event that you become seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. Living Wills are not used as long as you are able to express your own decisions on whether to accept or refuse medical treatment. They are used only when an attending health care provider determines that you are in a terminal condition and are no longer able to participate in making your own decisions regarding medical treatment.
If you live in Montana and you do not yet have a Living Will, please contact Matrium Law Group right away by calling (406) 552-7814 or by sending us an email. The attorneys at Matrium Law Group can help you properly complete and file your Living Will with the Montana End-of-Life Registry. The Living Will is one of the most important and necessary legal document that all adults should have. Very often it’s the young and healthy who stand to benefit from Living Wills the most. This is because it is the young and healthy who are robust enough to go on for a long time after a serious illness or accident as we’ve seen in the Terri Schiavo case. Living Wills are analogous in many ways to a safety belt. They don’t solve everything but they certainly minimize the damage if something terrible happens. So please do yourself and your loved ones a favor, and contact Matrium Law Group today about your Living Will.