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Alternatives To Guardian

Living Will and MOST

Alternatives To Guardian,  English Blog   2023/04/02 (日)  4:05 PM

So far, from the perspective of elder law,  I emphasized each of legal document in order for the upcoming aged persons  to be able to  comply with unintended situation in the future.
This time, aside from legal perspectives, we focus on advanced medical directives in the US for above them. 

Among other things, Living Will, testament (Last will and testament) and MOST are often confused among laypersons. Therefore, I enumerate following examples.

1. Living Will:  a person is alive (and sound) as of now. However, if he/she is involved in some accidents and become critical situation, how does he/she want to die?  Just in case such emergency, a person provides end-of-life decisions. 

2. Testament (Last will and testament): a person who is sound and disposing mind is alive. After he/she dies, how does he/she want his /her heirs to divide estates or whom does he/she want to inherit estates by the will? In order to deliver the wishes to kinships, a person makes testament.


3. MOST (Medical Order for Scope of Treatment)/POLST(Physician's Order for Life Sustaining Treatment): Succinctly, a person who is usually suffering from chronic or progressive illness provides more detailed treatments for his/her physician.  

The significant difference among the three lies in whether the document is legal one or not. Living Will and Testament are ones of legal documents, whereas MOST is categorized as one of medical documents. To put it another way, if the conflict of contents between Living will and MOST occurs, Living Will is practically prioritized. 

Furthermore, generally, since MOST includes not only how to treat patients but also DNR (Do Not Resuscitate Order) , MOST has enormously influence on QOL of the person. 

To tell the truth, except testament, Living Will and MOST are not extensively penetrated in Japan. Strictly speaking, considering euthanasia and current Japanese legislations, it seems to me that Living Will and MOST are not simple issues.