To understand the benefits of having a living will—and in particular a Keystone Digital Living Will—we can examine a number of instances in which individuals did not have one but would have benefited by having one.
It can be troubling to consider these grave situations, and some of these stories may remind us of upsetting experiences we’ve all been through. But it’s important to reflect on scenarios such as these in order to fully assess the value of having a living will and advance directive—not only for you, but for your loved ones as well.
A man in his late 40s knows his dad has a living will and is certain he knows where it is. During a medical emergency, he rushes to be at his parents’ side at the hospital. Conditions worsen, and he needs to implement his father’s living will.
First he has to physically leave his parents to retrieve the will. Then, when he looks in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet in his father’s office, he doesn’t find it. He searches the entire house, for hours, and finally comes across a document that’s more than 15 years old. He’s almost certain the living will has been updated since then, but he simply cannot find the updated document.
His father’s healthcare providers implement the decisions from the likely outdated living will. The man forever questions if that’s what his dad really wanted—or if he let him down.
A Keystone Digital Living Will would have ensured that the entire treatment team—both doctors and loved ones—had access to the most up-to-date version of the living will. Accessible electronically, instantly, from any device, loved ones would not have had to leave one another to retrieve a printed document.
A man’s mother moves to an assisted living facility and is advised by her doctor to create a living will and advance directive. Without knowing her options, she instinctively goes to a lawyer, where she ends up with an expensive bill and a piece of paper.
The man is upset when he learns that it cost her more than $500, especially knowing how much her assisted living care is draining from her funds.
The mother’s lawyer tells her to store it somewhere safe, so she puts it in her safety deposit box—and fails to mention this to her son or any of her loved ones.
When her living will is needed, no one knows where to find it. Rather than consoling one another, family members begin arguing about the best way to proceed. And when the man finally does think to check her safety deposit box, he must go through a burdensome process to gain access to it.
A Keystone Digital Living Will would have eliminated the need for a lawyer and been more affordable. Its fully digital format means it would not have had to be stored and could have been accessed by her treatment team as soon as it was needed.
A woman in her mid 30s rushes to the hospital when her spouse unexpectedly gets into a car accident. Her husband is in a vegetative state, kept alive only by artificial life support. The doctors tell her there is no realistic expectation for recovery and ask her if they should keep him on life support or not.
Her mind is a whirlwind of doubt and confusion, but she has to think of the family and her children’s future. Life support is expensive—but it’s not an easy decision to make.
She makes the difficult decision, despite disagreement from her in-laws. Since they thought he should be kept alive, their relationship becomes permanently conflicted—and it even affects her children. “Your mother murdered your father,” they tell the kids.
A Keystone Digital Living Will would have removed the burden of decision and disagreement from his loved ones by expressly stating his treatment preferences.
Have you ever been in a situation where a Keystone Digital Living Will would have prevented confusion or conflict? Do you know others who have been in a similar situation?
Gain peace of mind knowing your decisions are protected and that your loved ones will not be left in a place of uncertainty. Create your Keystone Digital Living Will today.
Contact us with any questions about Keystone Healthcare Technologies or for assistance with your Keystone Digital Living Will.