When you take the time to include advance health care directives in your estate plan, you probably assume that medical providers will always comply. In most cases, that is what happens. Since your estate planning documents are legally binding, doctors and medical facilities in Beaumont, Texas, have a legal duty to follow your instructions.
There are some exceptions, however. Understanding more about this subject can help you make better plans for your future.
When can a provider refuse to follow your directives?
It is rare for medical professionals or hospital staff to go against advance health care directives. However, it can happen in a few circumstances. Three examples of when health care providers may elect not to follow your instructions include the following.
- Moral principles. When doctors feel that following your directives will compromise their principles, they may choose not to participate in your health care.
- Policy violations. When your advance directives go against the policies a hospital or other facility has in place, they may not be legally bound to follow your instructions.
- Poor standards. When your directives force medical providers or facilities to engage in substandard health care, they may elect not to take part in your instructions.
Despite the reasons above, physicians and medical facilities cannot disregard your directives. Instead, they must inform you or your chosen representative at once and try to offer an acceptable alternative. For example, they may suggest relocating to a different health care facility where your directives will be honored.
When you want to add advance health care directives to your estate plan, it is helpful to talk about your wishes with an estate planning lawyer. Together, you can explore your options and choose wording that makes it easier for medical professionals to honor your final wishes.