Living Wills - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/21/05-Tyler

Living Wills

83 year old Justin Pinkerton has been in the hospital for three weeks because of heart problems. Every day he watches coverage on Terri Schiavo. It makes him thankful he has a directive order telling his doctors and family his wishes if he were ever in an incapacitated state.

"It is the right thing to do to get it out of the way, to get it planned," he says.

Justin feels his decision was more for his family than himself.

'I have it because I love my family enough that I don't want them to have to make some of those decisions I can make now," he adds.

Most Americans aren't like Justin though. 75 percent of us don't have written directives for families to follow. According to family law attorney Alicia Cashell there are several options you can take advantage of. First there is a directive to physicians.

"A directive to physicians notifies physicians and family as to what your desires are in the event you are incapacitated and won't recover or you are terminally ill and will die in 6 months," she says.

The second option is a medical power of attorney.

"Medical power of attorney is going to give someone else the right to make medical decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself," she says.

The state of Texas does not have living wills so these directives are your only option to have your voice heard when you can't speak for yourself. Its a piece of paper that gives Justin and his family peace of mind</P

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