With the current COVID 19 pandemic reshaping the way we live, a major concern for our clients is to revise their existing Health Care Directives and HIPAA documents to include provisions that address remote authorization of medical decisions.
With the contagious nature of Coronavirus, it will be difficult if not impossible for the named Agent to be physically present in the hospital to personally speak with physicians, or to sign documents authorizing a course of action. For that reason, remote authorization of medical decision-making has now become necessary. Such remote authorization includes communication between the Agent and the doctor via Skype, FaceTime, over the phone, via email, or in any other (non in-person) manner appropriate under the circumstances.
In addition, consider modifying your Health Care Directive to reflect your specific wishes about intubation if you are hospitalized for COVID 19. For example, you might wish to specify whether you authorize your doctor to put you on, or remove you from a ventilator, if you are treated for Coronavirus.
We can assist with revisions to your Advance Health Care Directives for a nominal fee. If your Advance Health Care Directive has not been updated for 3 years or more, you should consider fully updating your document, to include the COVID provisions discussed here.
Moreover, Advance Health Care Directives can be validly executed using witnesses. This means that you don't have to leave your house to meet with a Notary to validly execute your updated Advance Health Care Directive.
If this is a concern to you, please contact our office to discuss updating your Advance Health Care Directive.