Important Legal Planning Issues to Consider for Someone with Parkinson’s Disease

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Important Legal Planning Issues to Consider for Someone with Parkinson’s Disease

March 15, 2018

Important Legal Planning Issues to Consider for Someone with Parkinson’s Disease

If you or your loved one has Parkinson’s disease, you or your loved one will need long term care at some point. If you have advanced symptoms of the disease, you are likely focused on your care needs rather than on your legal matters. If you are in the role of caregiver, you may become so overwhelmed by the pervasiveness and stress of caregiving that you fail to consider the legal ramifications of your loved one’s long term disability. However, legal planning in this situation is absolutely critical and should not be neglected.

  • Introduction to Health Care Directives
    1. “Health Care Directive” means a document drafted in substantial compliance with the law, to deal with a person’s future health care decisions. A.R.S. § 36-3201(5). There are four Advance Directives recognized under Arizona law. These include:
      • Health Care Power of Attorney,
      • Living will,
      • Pre-Hospital Medical Care Directive, and
      • Mental Health Care Power of Attorney (which is beyond the scope of this presentation)
    2. Patient Self-Determination Act. Under the Patient Self Determination Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices and H.M.Os that participate in Medicare or Medicaid must provide written information to incoming patients regarding their right to formulate advance directives and to accept/refuse medical treatment. The healthcare entities must also provide written information to incoming patients regarding the Arizona law on these issues. Under this Federal law, health care facilities may not refuse admission based on whether a patient has or does not have an advance directive, but must document whether an advance directive exists.

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