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Royal Law Firm PLLC

Royal Law Firm PLLC

DMX Knew Pain Longer Than He May Have Wanted To: The Choice In Advanced Healthcare Directives

DMX Knew Pain Longer Than He May Have Wanted To: The Choice In Advanced Healthcare Directives


Our readers may recall being chided by family for blasting “X Gon’ Give It To Ya”  by DMX in our youth. Nostalgia met tragedy when the rapper passed away on Friday April 9, 2021 in New York from a heart attack triggered by a drug overdose.  He was in intensive care for a week, and in a “vegetative state” according to media reports. 


This tragedy serves as a reminder of the importance of having a plan in place in the event of an emergency. Advance care planning is not just about old age, it is planning to ensure you get the medical care you want at any age. Health care planning goes hand in hand with planning for your estate and assets.


An advance health care directive (AHCD) is a legal document that becomes effective if you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. In an AHCD, you express your wishes and desires related to end of life care, and include any special requests you may have, such as asking for a do-not-resuscitate order or avoiding interventions that will extend your life. 


In considering treatment options, it is helpful to discuss with your doctor any potential medical issues that you have now. Or your family medical history can be a starting point for talking to your doctor about potential future medical problems that may arise, and what type of treatment options may be available. 


Another consideration is your personal values. Is your goal to live as long as possible, or have the best quality of life possible? What if you were paralyzed or in a coma that means you need to be on a ventilator? These are tough questions, and you may not have the answers to these questions right now, but fortunately the AHCD is a living document that can be adjusted as your situation changes. 


In the AHCD, you also nominate an agent to act as your health care proxy. This health care agent is an individual empowered to make decisions about your medical care. Health care agents can speak to your doctor on your behalf and ensure no unwanted treatment occurs. It is very important that your health care agent is a trusted individual because they have the power to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. The more guidance you can give in your AHCD about your treatment and/or end-of-life decisions, means that your agent will not be burdened by making those decisions on your behalf. As with any major life decision, designating a health care agent is a personal choice, and may not be for everybody (such as if you are uncomfortable with anyone else making decisions for you). 


Lastly, final disposition instructions outline whether you want to be cremated, buried, and other pre-planned arrangements you have made for after death. You also nominate agents to effectuate your wishes on your behalf. It can be the same named individuals as your health care agents, or not – maybe you trust one person to make medical decisions and another to handle after life – these decisions are completely up to you. 

We can’t decide when we no longer feel rain, but at least we can guide and direct how we leave the pain behind, with a little planning. Have you made plans for what will happen in the event of a health crisis or otherwise? To learn more about your options for end of life planning, including setting up your Advance Health Care Directive and ancillary documents, such as a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, and, also, more sophisticated succession planning, contact us.