How to be legally prepared if you have to go to the hospital for COVID-19
COVID 19 has created a great deal of uncertainty in the world. One of the most terrifying aspects of the disease is that you could become hospitalized, and in a situation where family and friends cannot speak with you or advocate for your care. We all dread the scenario where we are rushed to the hospital with the Coronavirus and placed on a ventilator, unable to communicate effectively with the outside world. Visitors, even close family members, are not permitted in hospitals where they are caring for COVID-19 patients. This means you will be missing support and advocacy from your loved ones at a time where you are most vulnerable and need it the most.
While we all hope this will not happen, one way we can prepare is to have a short form before you go to the hospital that includes key personal and health information along with authorizations. Keep it and your essential medical documents in a place where it will be easy to find and take with you to the hospital in an emergency. This will enable your care team at the hospital to communicate with a member of your family and provide you personalized treatment based on your wishes, even if you are unable to communicate due to illness.
I am including a potential version of this form here. This should give you an idea of what kind of information and requests will be helpful if you need to go to the hospital. Hospitals have their own forms, but in an emergency, this information can help everyone immediately. For specific powers of attorney, medical directives, and other legal forms, please contact me so I can help create a personalized document that protects you and your family.
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