What are healthcare derivatives? Also known as healthcare directives or, as in Colorado, advance directives, these are legal documents that express your intentions and state your wishes regarding all of your medical treatment needs if and when you do not have the mental capacity to make those decisions on your own.

If you or a loved one is considering some type of healthcare derivative/advance directive, you can access everything you need through the virtual services of the Law Office of Kim M. Dubois PLLC.

About Healthcare Derivatives/Advance Directives

Federal law requires that you be given information on healthcare derivatives/advance directives at the time you are admitted by any hospital, nursing home, HMO, hospice, home health care, or personal care program that receives federal funds; i.e., Medicare.

It is always a good idea to express your wishes while you have full control of your mental facilities so that these wishes will be honored without question or controversy should you become incapacitated. Both federal law and Colorado law direct that competent adults have the right to:

  • Give your informed consent to medical treatment,
  • Refuse medical treatment, even if that decision results in death,
  • Make your wishes regarding medical treatment known in advance, and
  • Appoint a person to make medical decisions for you when you cannot.

The Right to Appoint a Substitute Decision-Maker

For a healthcare derivative/advance directive, you typically appoint an agent to make your healthcare decisions. This agent will have the legal permission to make healthcare decisions on your behalf should you become mentally incapacitated. You may limit your agent’s scope of authority and define which decisions can be made on your behalf. State laws may also vary and may place various limitations on the agent’s powers.
In Colorado, this person is known as a “healthcare agent,” and is appointed through a form called a “Medical Durable Power of Attorney.”

In Colorado, when a doctor has determined that you are incapacitated and cannot make your own medical treatment decisions, the doctor will gather as many “interested persons” as possible, such as family members and even close friends, who will then select one person to be your “Proxy Decision-Maker.” The Proxy Decision-Maker will then make medical decisions on your behalf.

Types of Healthcare Derivatives/Advance Directives

In Colorado, the Medical Durable Power of Attorney is just one type of healthcare derivative/advance directive. The other main types are the Living Will and the CPR Directive. A Living Will is a document directing doctors to stop or not start life-sustaining treatments if you are incapacitated and in a terminal condition, or if you are in a persistent vegetative state. The Living Will only goes into effect 48 hours after at least two doctors have certified your condition.

A CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) Directive allows you or your substitute decision-maker to refuse any attempt to revive you using certain drugs, machinery, and/or the traditional chest pressure/mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if your heart and/or breathing has stopped. It is similar to, but not exactly like, a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate).

Choices regarding organ and tissue donation may also be included in a healthcare derivative/advance directive. In Colorado, these types of healthcare derivatives/advance directives can be summarized, along with other pertinent medical information and choices, in a document known as Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST).

Contact the Law Office of Kim M. Dubois PLLC Today for Assistance

Although most healthcare derivatives/advance directives are form-based in Colorado, the ethical, legal, and medical issues surrounding them can be quite complex and they should be created very carefully. If you are considering a healthcare derivative/advance directive, you should utilize the virtual services offered by the Law Office of Kim M. Dubois PLLC, which are comprehensive yet affordable.

If you’re looking for a true virtual firm, the Law Office of Kim M. Dubois PLLC is the firm for you. Our office provides virtual services for your convenience. We offer free consultations and follow a rigid policy of returning phone calls and email messages on the same day.

Contact us to learn more and schedule your free consultation.