In a world where everything is closely intertwined, our environment has a direct effect on our wellbeing and quality of life in more than one way. The more resources we use, the more strain we put on the planet. The more strained our planet, the worse our health gets. Ironically, one of the biggest offenders when it comes to paper waste is the printing of health documents and forms.
This is why groups of environmentally-conscious individuals and businesses have been pushing for a change in the way we utilize our natural resources, emphasizing the need to cut fewer trees. Going digital and switching to online documents and forms offers a much-needed hope in the effort to combat climate change.
The new movement of environmental consciousness and sustainable use is striving to ensure better health for us as well as the next generations to come.
A few established ways to decrease your impact include:
That’s where going for online documents and forms can help you greatly decrease your paper usage and support the environment which in its turn ensures prolonged health and wellness on a societal and individual level.
Online documents and forms are extremely versatile. You can use them:
Some of the most widely used online forms and documents include a medical power of attorney (POA), living will, do-not-resuscitate orders (DNR), and health care proxy. Each of these is crucial and an absolute must at various stages through life.
The POA document allows someone else to make decisions on your behalf.
There’s nothing worse than being unable to carry out your legal errands and not having help from anybody. By putting a POA in place, you ensure that no matter what happens, somebody will be there for you.
A living will is a form that conveys your wishes in case you need end-of-life medical care.
A living will serves as a direction for doctors on how you want doctors to treat you in case you’re unable to communicate your wishes. This form varies by the state, which is why someone living in Maine will need a different document than someone from California.
DNR orders are instructions written out by a physician directing health care providers not to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on you. CPR includes life-saving techniques such as mouth-to-mouth breathing and chest compressions.
People who wish for DNR orders to be followed are typically those who are terminally ill, and CPR has little to no chance of actually delivering results.
In some cases, CPR is only partly successful and can cause trauma on the body, which is a reason why some choose to avoid the emergency technique at all costs. Finally, people with advanced health conditions who are in pain often prefer for their condition to run its course without any aggressive medical interventions.
Health care proxy is a legal document similar to the medical POA. Often referred to as HCP, this form appoints another individual to make decisions on your behalf in case you are unable to. People over the age of 18 are allowed to have an HCP in place, while for those who are underage, the parents or guardians serve as such.
The HCP will act on your behalf in case you’re under anesthesia or unconscious. The HCP form includes providing data such as:
The form can be easily prepared online for optimal convenience.
Having your medical paperwork in order is absolutely necessary because life is unpredictable. DNR orders, for example, can be as applicable to an 18-year-old as they would be to an 80-year-old. You can have peace of mind once you’ve appointed someone as your medical healthcare proxy or assigned a power of attorney. Unfortunately, creating these documents for millions of people every year puts a massive strain on our resources.
Before the widespread use of online services, legally-binding forms such as the medical POA, for example, needed to be prepared exclusively at a law firm. With high attorney fees and long waiting times, this was a dreaded chore for many people, especially the elderly who don’t have that much time on their hands by default.
The biggest advantage of online documents is that you can find them all in one place. You no longer have to drive around town and go to various institutions. More often than not, people living in the countryside or smaller areas needed to travel for miles in order to get to the capital of their region and take care of their documentation.
Another major plus of using online documents is that you can find most of them absolutely free. Large databases like FP offer thousands of forms and documents at zero cost.
What’s more, online documents and forms are just as legally binding as their paper counterpart.
Thanks to the ESIGN Act, electronic signatures in the United States carry the same legal status as the handwritten alternative, so you don’t have to worry about the legality of your documents. Queuing at law firms and feeling like you’re being pulled in a million different directions can also become a relic of the past.
Virtually anyone could use online forms to settle their medical needs. What’s more, you can help your elderly parents or grandparents take care of their important documentation right from home by guiding them along the online process.