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Why And How Your Living Will & Health Care Directive May Fail You

Level: Beginner
Runtime: 63 minutes
Recorded Date: January 13, 2022
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  • How to identify common issues when creating or reviewing a client's advance directives for healthcare
  • The risk of wrongful death or prolongation of life claims with living wills and POLSTS that fail or are unclear
  • When and how to advise clients to discuss their advance care planning choices with their medical care providers and to properly document them
  • The proper use of Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms
  • Video options for completing advance care directives and POLST documents to assure a client/patient's wishes are understood and honored in a medical emergency
  • How to identify the risks associated with living wills and POLSTS as identified in the TRIAD research studies
Runtime: 1 hour, 3 minutes
Recorded: January 13, 2022

For NY - Difficulty Level: For newly admitted attorneys (transitional)


Lawyers will understand the best practices for advance health care directives, living wills and POLSTS.

This program was recorded on January 13th, 2022.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Thaddeus Pope

Professor of Law
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Thaddeus Pope joined Hamline University School of Law (a predecessor school to Mitchell Hamline School of Law) as the director of the Health Law Institute in January 2012 after serving as associate professor of law at Widener University School of Law. There, his research focused on medical futility, internal dispute resolution, tort law, public health law, and normative jurisprudence. He authors a blog on medical futility, reporting and discussing legislative, judicial, regulatory, medical, and other developments concerning end-of-life medical treatment.

Pope also taught at Albany Medical College and the University of Memphis. Prior to joining academia, he practiced at Arnold & Porter and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Pope earned a J.D. and Ph.D. in philosophy and bioethics from Georgetown University.

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Dr. Ferdinando Mirarchi

Chief Medical & Scientific Officer
Institute of Healthcare Directives

Dr. Mirarchi, is the Chief Medical & Scientific Officer of the Institute on HealthCare Directives and the Founder of MIDEO (My Informed Decision on VidEO). He is the Principal Investigator of the TRIAD (The Realistic Interpretation of Advance Directives) Research Series which has been featured by the New York Times & Wall Street Journal. His research reveals there is a new nationwide patient safety risk effecting patients who have living wills, Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment orders and those who are critically ill. His TRIAD VIII study, released by the Journal of Patient Safety, is groundbreaking and reveals we can do better for patients if we incorporate video testimony into their advance care plans.

Dr. Mirarchi, is also a practicing Emergency Medicine Physician and Medical Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UPMC-Hamot in Erie PA.

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Mary Vigal

Tax Attorney
The Condado Group, LLC

Ms. Vigal is a tax attorney with the Condado Group LLC, and works as a tax advisor and consultant with other professional firms on a collaboration basis to assist their clients.

She is based in Illahee, Washington, but works with advisors and their clients worldwide.

Ms. Vigal has been licensed to practice law in California since 1978 and was a certified as a Tax Specialist in 1979. She is a former full-time associate professor of law at the Graduate School of Taxation of Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California; and an associate professor in the MS Taxation program at Golden Gate University. Ms. Vigal was a visiting professor in taxation at the Santa Clara University School of Law in Santa Clara, California; and a former lecturer at the San Jose State Graduate School of Business in San Jose, California.

Ms. Vigal received her B.A. degree in economics from Colorado College, her J.D. degree from the University of Santa Clara, and her LL.M. degree in taxation from Golden Gate University.

She frequently speaks at domestic and international venues on wealth preservation, tax and estate planning, and has numerous published articles in her areas of expertise.

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Robert H. Louis

Of Counsel
Saul, Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Bob Louis is a partner in the Estate Planning and Administration Practice. He has many years of experience in assisting clients in preserving and passing on wealth and business ownership across the generations. In this work, he helps clients to develop family business succession plans, often involving benefit planning. He also assists with estate planning, including the preparation of wills, trusts and other estate planning documents, to further the process of wealth preservation and transfer, and to deal with the varying interests and needs of family members. A significant part of Bob's practice focuses on retirement plans, executive compensation, employee benefits, and tax and estate planning for those kinds of benefits. He advises clients on the methods of planning for a happy and rewarding retirement. Based on more than 40 years of experience with employee benefits and tax planning, Bob is a skilled retirement coach.

Bob enjoys explaining and demystifying these sometimes complex issues. He is the Editor of Personal Wealth Law News, a law blog hosted by the Firm that reviews developments in retirement, estate planning and other wealth-related issues. To read his blog, please click here. Bob has also written articles for the Legal Intelligencer on retirement planning issues. He is a frequent lecturer and writer on these topics to various groups, and regularly presents at Pennsylvania Bar Institute programs.

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