A couple of weeks ago we looked at some medical incapacity planning terms that everyone who creates an incapacity plan in Colorado should understand. This week we are going to continue our exploration of common medical incapacity planning terms you should know, but instead of focusing on terms surrounding incapacitation, we’re going to look at terms surrounding the specific kinds of treatments you might choose to accept or refuse as you make a plan of your own.
It’s also important to point out that whenever you make an individualized plan you need to speak to experts. Your lawyer will guide you through the process of making a legally enforceable plan, while your doctor and health care providers can provide you detailed information about the kinds of treatment or health care choices you might expect to have to make in the future.
Medical Incapacity Planning Terms You Should Know
- Life-Support: Life support is a kind of umbrella term that includes a variety of different medical procedures and treatments. When health care workers refer to life support, what they’re talking about is procedures that allow your body to maintain normal functions even though the body has its self lost the ability to maintain those systems. Life support includes such treatments as dialysis, respiration, and artificial nutrition.
- Artificial Nutrition: Also referred to as and internal nutrition, or sometimes as a “feeding tube,” artificial nutrition allows the body to stay hydrated and fed even though the person’s body is no longer able to eat or drink. Artificial nutrition can often be sustained indefinitely as long as the person’s other bodily systems are functional.
- Ventilation: Ventilation, sometimes known as artificial breathing, provides the body with the air and oxygen it needs when a person’s lungs have stopped functioning properly. Ventilation, along with artificial nutrition, is one of the most common forms of life support given the people when they have become comatose, unresponsive, or otherwise incapacitated.
- Dialysis: When operating properly, your body naturally removes harmful substances from your blood. Your kidneys serve as a kind of filtration system that clean and detoxify your blood of any substances that might have built up in it. Dialysis is there when your kidneys fail. Through dialysis, you can artificially clean the blood that would otherwise have been cleaned by your kidneys.
- Resuscitation: When a person stops breathing or their heart stops, health care workers can attempt to resuscitate a person through a variety of means. One of the most common ways health care workers try to resuscitate someone is through the use of a defibrillator, a machine that delivers an electric shock to restart a heart that has stopped beating.
Please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have more questions about medical incapacity planning terms . If you feel you may benefit from a workshop, be sure to check out our workshop page to see all of our upcoming workshops!