Emergency Access to Health Care Proxies in Massachusetts
At Kraft Law Offices in Boston, we are concerned with not only the purely legal, theoretical effect of the documents we draft, but also the impact they will have in actual real-life situations.
One estate planning area where this is particularly important is making sure your health care proxy, living will, and other documents directing medical care are accessible to a hospital in the event of a serious accident or other emergency.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA, Aug. 9, 1995, 274:478], in about three-quarters of the cases the authors reviewed, even though a patient had a health care proxy or living will, the patient didn't have a copy of it or no one knew about it during emergency treatment, so it couldn't be used at the very time it was needed most.
To make sure your health care proxy and living will do control medical decisions
for you in an emergency, we recommend our clients enroll in DocuBank - a ser- vice dedicated to providing immediate access to your medical care documents. DocuBank issues you an emergency card to be carried next to your driver's license, with instructions on how a hospital can contact DocuBank, 24/7, by toll-free phone number or over the internet. When someone from an emergency care facility provides the ID and PIN from your emergency card, they can print or view copies of your medical directive documents online, or DocuBank will immediately fax those documents wherever they are needed, worldwide.
We believe this type of emergency access is such an important part of creating practical, true security that we include enrollment in DocuBank as part of our full-service approach to planning.
For additional information about DocuBank or other practicalities related to implementing your planning documents, contact Kraft Law Offices in Boston.