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Family Talk Now Could Prevent Issues Later

Dr. Kelly Klein is in family practice and a Texas Tech Physician.
Dr. Kelly Klein is in family practice and a Texas Tech Physician.(KCBD Video)
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 11:00 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The holidays are a time for family gatherings and the perfect time to learn more about your loved ones, when the discussion is light and there is no urgent need to know.

Dr. Kelly Klein says “If we don’t talk about those things, sometimes it’s it’s just a guess. And I think medical care is always done best when we prepare ahead of time.” Dr. Klein is in family practice and a Texas Tech Physician. She says it’s hard to see people struggling over decisions in a crisis when famlies have plenty of time to talk about end of life issues when life is good. And if you think it’s scary or invasive to ask family members what they would want if something happened and they were unable to communicate, Dr. Klein says think of it this way. She says, “Knowledge is power. knowledge is power. A DNR form means Do Not Resuscitate. But a better way of thinking that is to allow natural death. So some there are lots of patients who don’t want ICU type aggressive heroic measures done and would rather be allowed to die a natural death.”

Dr. Klein says it’s easy to download the forms you need to make your wishes a binding document, including a form that will allow you to designate your medical power of attorney. She explains, ‘’A lot of people think that, well, I have a power of attorney, but they don’t realize medical power of attorney is a separate issue. So it’s good to have a form for medical power of attorney. And that would only take effect if if that patient is unable to make their own medical decisions.”

So here’s how you can get these forms. Just google Texas Advanced Directives. That’s the same thing as a Living Will.

It’s a legal document that clarifies what you want ...or don’t want... while you are alive but terminally ill.

That goes beyond the DNR which only refers to what medical treatment you would want if your heart stops.

Also *Medical Power of Attorney allows you to choose who will make medical decisions for you if you can not.

Dr. Klein says after you sign those forms, it’s a good idea to give them to your family doctor so your wishes can be saved.

Don’t forget family get togethers are also the best time to learn what illnesses are in your family tree… because knowing the risks can help doctors make better decisions about your own health care.

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