Spinning of Organ Donation… Organ Donation, Living Will and Power of Attorney for Hea
I typed this for the Organ Donor Thread but thought it might deserve its own as we are becoming more and more aware of head trauma and related safety concerns.
I am an organ donor. It is a very personal decision and, as much as I am in favor of it, not for everyone. We all have the right for our wishes and preferences to be respected in a healthcare setting (hospital, nursing home, or hospice) if and when we are unable to make our wishes known ourselves, and after we die. It is important to have a Power of Attorney (POA) for Health Care naming someone to make decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself. This is not a Living Will, but another document supersedes a Living Will (which only directs for end-of-life care) and can be used in other healthcare situations where death is not eminent, but where one is temporarily unable to make their thoughts and wishes about healthcare treatment known. This is especially important for folks regularly engaged in activities where they might get seriously hurt, like….riding horses.
Laws vary from state. It is important to have a POA in the state where you are receiving treatment. So if you are headed to Florida or Arizona or California or somewhere else to show this winter, best contact a hospital in the state where you are showing (or driving or hunting or endurance riding or whatever) and fill on out for that state. Most hospitals will gladly help you with that for no fee, even providing the forms! In many hospital systems, the Chaplains or Social Workers are the designated go tos.
For organ donation, laws vary from state to state too. Many states have moved to a central online registry which has been legally recognized as the final indicator of an individual’s wishes. Therefore, if someone is listed in the database their family can object all they want, but an organ donor they will be. It is also true that if someone’s DL indicates they are an organ donor and their family objects to the donation, if the individual’s name is NOT on the database they will NOT be an organ donor.
Check the laws in your state or any state where you regularly engage in equestrian activities (or any other high risk sports).
It is, incidentally, incorrect to think that any nonrelated individual (SO, BF, BFF or the like) can have any say in your healthcare. In most states, the law states that healthcare providers must find a next of kin according to the laws in that state.
If you want an SO or a BF or another nonrelative to make decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself, you need a POA for Health Care. Again, most any hospital will be HAPPY to help you with this—free of charge.
I've had a POA for Healthcare since I was 25yo. As I see in my work every day, after becoming and adult, we are never too young to need this protection. Just like we always need to ware that approved hard hat.
It IS a very important topic. Good to post. I just had this condo w/ my Grandmother. I have had a medical directive for years. I have a living will. She does not.
We're working on it.
I think that working in the hospital for a time and working hospice made me more acutely aware that sometimes, you just don't have time to figure it out in the 11th hour. It needs to be done in advance.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.