Blog for John Sweeney - Elder, Wills, Estates, Trusts, Special Needs, Business, & Tax Lawyer in CT and NY

Dementia, Alzheimer's and Advance Directives

Posted by John Sweeney | Feb 12, 2015 | 1 Comment

People and lawyers are trying to figure out if a person can choose to die if they get dementia or Alzheimer's and it is getting a little controversial.

Generally, you cannot direct your proxy or medical staff to end your life with drugs or by other methods if you develop Alzheimer's.  However, people are now saying in their advance directives that they do not want to be fed or hydrated by third parties if they have dementia or Alzheimer's.

Essentially, this is choosing to die by voluntarily stopping eating and drinking.

The controversy is whether you can in fact do that.   After all, can your proxy can order the facilities and medical team not to feed or hydrate you.

The question is being debated and litigated now.  In New York and some other states, you can't because the law prevents the withdrawal of oral nutrition or hydration at all, no matter what a proxy or directive says.   The New York Times has a great article on this topic.

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John Sweeney

John is an experienced lawyer who helps you solve your problems. He practices Elder, Wills, Estates, Trusts, Special Needs, Business, & Tax Law in Fairfield County CT and Westchester County New York. He brings a wealth of experience in law, business, tax, insurance, and finance to arrive at practical solutions with compassion and care. Honest, direct and practical, he is focused on you and your problems. He also brings a wealth of personal experience from his own large family and aging parents.


Rigoleto Reply

Posted Mar 15, 2015 at 08:01:50

Medicare only covers nrnsiug home care for 100 days, I believe. You may be thinking about MEDICAID. Medicaid requires that the patient spend down his/her assets first. The rules are quite complex and vary by state since Medicaid is state-run. Annuities, in general, are assets that can be cashed out even if there is a surrender fee.

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Elder, Wills, Estates, Trusts, Special Needs Tax & Business Law; Attorney John Sweeney

Sweeney Legal, LLC, provides legal, practical, and business counsel to Seniors, families, and businesses in the Fairfield, Connecticut area, including the communities of Bridgeport, Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, New Canaan, Newtown, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton. John is also licensed in New York serving Westchester County including the towns of Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, and Somers.