The California Probate Code Section 4701 regulates all types of advance health care directive in the state. If you have plans about making one for yourself, you may want to get to know what California living will forms are all about and what they normally contain.
Basically, a living will is a legal document that contains advance directives with regard to medical treatment. The form, once properly signed and filled out, becomes legally binding and takes effect in case of hospitalization – particularly if the patient falls into an awful and incapacitated condition.
For its contents to be acknowledged and implemented by a health care provider, the drafting of the living will should be consistent with the rules of the state regarding such documents.
In the state of California, you – as well as its entire populace – have the right to give out advance directive about your own medical care. In addition, you are entitled to appoint a particular person to act as your advocate or surrogate in making treatment decisions in case you fall into a persistent coma or terminal illness.
Several other rights are indicated in the state-specific form. So before you actually draw up your living will, try to be familiar with your options first – including the specific contents and parts of the appropriate health care directive form.
The “Part 1” of the living will form is the Power of Attorney. It allows you to assign another person – called a health care surrogate – to formulate health care determinations on your behalf in the event that you become incapable of participating in the decision-making process. Then again, your surrogate may also assume the responsibility in case you demonstrate or express unwillingness to decide for your own medical treatment.
Just to be sure, you may also appoint an alternate surrogate to take on the task of deciding on your behalf in case your original choice is not around or unwilling to perform his or her duties. Obviously, your health care surrogate must not be an employee/operator of the health care facility you are receiving care from – except if he or she is a co-worker or a relative.
Unless your living will explicitly restricts the power of your health care surrogate, he or she may formulate all types of medical treatment decisions for you. If you wish to impose such limitations in authority, you may do so by indicating that wish in writing. Then again, if you intend to be completely dependent on that person’s ability to choose what is best for you, then placing restrictions would be pointless.
“Part 2” of the living will form permits you to provide detailed instructions pertaining to any facet of your medical care – with or without a health care surrogate. Options are typically supplied to you so that you can properly covey your desires concerning the withholding, withdrawal or provision of treatment to prolong your life. This also includes pain relief measures – or the lack thereof.
Appropriate space is also made available for you in case you want to write down additional instructions that are not presented in the choices. However, if you’ve already appointed a health care surrogate and is quite confident about his or her decision-making abilities, then completing this part of the living will form would not be necessary.
The third part of the form allows you to state your intent to donate your organs and/or tissues in the event of your death. “Part 4”, on the other hand, lets you select and name the physician who will be primarily responsible for your health care and treatment.
After accomplishing the correct form, the date and your signature should be affixed at the end of the document. Aside from that, the law that regulates California living will forms essentially requires the presence of two eligible witnesses or a Notary Public during the signing. You also have the right to annul or alter the contents of the living will at any time.