LIVING WILL OVERVIEW
A Living Will states the health care directives (requests) you want to be followed should you be unable to tell the doctors yourself.
- Do you want to be on life support for a long time at the desire of your family, or do you want to spare the the anguish of a long and draw-out scenario?
- What about methods to save your life?
Many people have strong feelings on these issues, and each should have a Living Will. Others can simply trust their spouse or whoever they've designated to have Power of Attorney over them. If you want to be certain your specific wishes are fulfilled, make sure you've prepared a Living Will.
When starting the process of preparing a Living Will consider the following:
- Life-prolonging medical care. These treaments include: blood transfusions, CPR, diagnostic tests, dialyses, administration of drugs, use of a respirator, andsurgery.
- Food and water. Some permanently unconscious patients can live for a very long time if giving intravenous food and water. Some people want this, some don't.
- Palliative care. Palliative care is care given to reduce pain when one chooses to forego life-prolonging treatments.
What to do with your signed Living Will
Consider giving a copy of your Living Will to:
- Your Health Care Agent - The person you name in your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.
- Family Members
- Your Doctor(s)
Your Hospital or Care Facility