The eminent neurologist, Dr. David Boston, looked the attorney general in the eye and said, “I’m dedicated to doing everything within my ability to keep your son alive. I don’t believe in people playing God, even when they do it with their own lives through those ‘living wills’ you lawyers like to force upon us. I refer to them as ‘dying wills’, because that is what more closely represents their actual intent.”
This an excerpt from my new novel, “Living Will” about an unscrupulous, young lawyer who was willing to exploit his firm’s elderly clients by having them sign the “trinity” of documents; a living will, a power of attorney and a last will and testament. Each agreement designates a person other than its signer to make decisions about their care, financial affairs or death, without their knowledge or consent. So ask yourself this question. What advantages are there in being the health care surrogate, holder of the power of attorney or executor of the will of another? Here is a hypothetical, but common, situation:
Bob, in his will, names his spouse as executrix of his estate and his son as the alternate executor. He is advised to name someone younger than the spouse to be the health care surrogate of his living will and to hold the power of attorney over his non-health related responsibilities. He names his daughter to serve as both. Following his wife’s death, Bob has a stroke and ends up on life support. How does the daughter benefit from keeping Bob on life support indefinitely? How would the son benefit by having it removed?
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