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Like in any other state in the United States, advanced directives and living wills in Nebraska are regulated by state laws. In order for you to make one for your future health care, you must not be younger than 19 years old. If in case you are, then you must either be married or divorced. Needless to say, you also need to be of sound mind when drawing up a living will.
In essence, a living will is a written statement expressing the type of treatment you wish to accept or refuse in case you’re diagnosed with a terminal condition or fall into a permanent vegetative state. For instance, the document may contain explicit instructions about your lack of interest in receiving tube feedings or other life-support measures.
On the contrary, it may also convey your wishes to get all the possible interventions necessary to keep you alive – even if it means artificially.
Nebraska doesn’t specifically have a law concerning Advanced Directives or Living Wills. Nevertheless, the state holds a statute on Health Care Power of Attorney. Under this ruling, a person may appoint an “attorney-in-fact” who may formulate health care decisions on his or her behalf should he or she become incapacitated or ineligible to make informed choices.
In addition, the edict enables the maker to express his or her desires with regard to treatment and compel the “attorney-in-fact” to obey these directions.
The naming of an “attorney-in-fact” should adhere to certain policies under the law of Nebraska. You will need at least two eligible witnesses or a Notary Public to observe the signing of the document.
Nebraska law also stipulates that the following persons are not qualified to act as witnesses in the making of a power of attorney: the maker’s spouse, child, parent, sibling, potential heir, known beneficiary, attending doctor, or “attorney-in-fact”; or an employee of a health or life insurance provider. Not more than one representative from the health care facility should be present during the signing.
Even though there is no expressed stipulation in the law of Nebraska regarding the notarization of a living will, it is highly suggested that you do so to make sure that the health team would listen to the voice of the a patient in an emergency condition.
No one in the following list of persons may function as your “attorney-in-fact”:
1) your attending physician;
2) an employee of your attending physician who is not related to you by marriage, blood, or adoption;
3) a person who is not related to you (by marriage, blood, or adoption) and who happens to be an operator/owner or employee of the health care institution you’re admitted in;
4) a person who is not related to you (by marriage, blood, or adoption) and is, at the time of appointment, currently acting as an “attorney-in-fact” for ten individuals or more.
You may also choose to make and execute a living will in other states. It would then turn out as a combination of a living will and a declaration of a health care “attorney-in-fact”. Just make sure that the directives written in each document do not clash with each other.
The advanced directives and living wills in Nebraska are indeed unique to their state. However, the purpose of these legal documents is universal.
They’re all similar in the sense that they enable you to make those crucial decisions before its too late.