Legal Medical Terms Defined: Part 1 of 8

Legal Medical Terms Defined: Part 1 of 8

By Ángel Marín Díaz


With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting matters of life and death, there is no better time to think about long-term care planning, and ask the question “Have I planned for my passing conscientiously and responsibly?” 


Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, weekly I have fielded an ever-growing number of questions on the subject. Thus, I have set upon the task of providing an eight-part article that will shed light on Legal Medical Definitions, how they work in Mexico, and what each of us need to know before we make such personal and defining decisions. 


I will answer your questions in the biweekly “Q&A with Angel” about estate planning, legacy bequeathments, and how to create a peaceful, legal transition of assets, and explain the differences between estate planning in Mexico and the country where one holds citizenship.  


Let us begin with some of the terminology:


The Living Will is a legal document used to state certain future health care decisions only when a person becomes unable to make the decisions and choices on their own.


Durable Power of Attorney for healthcare, also known as a medical power of attorney, is a legal document in which you name a person to be a proxy or agent to make all your health care decisions if you become unable to do so.


Do not resuscitate (DNR) orders mean that if you stop breathing or your heart stops, nothing will be done to try to keep you alive. If you are in the hospital, you can ask your doctor to add a DNR order to your medical record.


Advance Directives give specific direction to what types of treatments and medications you refuse to accept. There are many advance directive formats. Some follow forms outlined in state laws, others are created by lawyers or even the patients themselves. 


Last Will and Testament are a direct line of guidance and executions the patient, once deceased, wishes to be carried out by specified executors, administrators, and inheritors.


These are the terms and definitions as we are aware of them in the USA and Canada. 


It is extremely important to take note that directives prepared in another country will not be recognized in Mexico. To be effective in Mexico, they must follow specific protocols which include, but not limited to, being legally drafted, notarized, translated and registered in the various municipal, state and national registries.  


Before you set out to put your wishes to paper always make sure your legal representation is completely familiar with your needs.


For all your Estate Planning, Legacy Bequeathments, Notarial Services, or more specific questions and information, contact the author, Ángel Marín Díaz at 41501219005.