Michigan estate planning: Do not hospitalize

Advance directives can be put in place to protect one's wants and wishes for health care treatment. Michigan residents have several to choose from, though there is one in particular that many are not aware even exists. This is called a do not hospitalize order, and for some it would be wise considering when going through the estate planning process.

A do not hospitalize order is exactly that, a signed form stipulating that one does not want to be placed in a hospital for care in his or her final days of life. This is an understandable desire. Many people would rather leave this world while in the comfort of their own homes.

It is believed that only 38 percent of Americans have any sort of advance medical directive prepared. The number of those individuals with DNH orders in their arsenal is even less. This is because people simply do not want to think about their own mortality.

End-of-life planning is something that has its place, though. According to the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, people who reside in areas with teaching hospitals that offer advance treatment options tend to end up in those facilities as patients in their final days of life. Those who do not have DNH orders are twice as likely to be admitted and held until their bodies finally give out.

At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with being sent to a hospital near the end of one's life. Medical providers can offer help and ease suffering. It is just not an environment that not everyone wants to be in, however. By putting the appropriate advance directives together when going through the estate planning process, Michigan residents can have greater control about where they spends their last days.

Source: msn.com, "Want Control Over Your Death? Consider A 'Do Not Hospitalize' Order", Ann Brenoff, July 14, 2017