Living Wills

 

Also known as an "Advance Medical Healthcare Directive," the living will is a written set of instructions expressing, in advance, your wishes for the type of medical treatment (the initiation, continuation, withholding, or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and other specific instructions) that you want, or do not want, in the event that you become unable to understand, make, or communicate decisions about your medical care. You may, if you wish, include in your living will a health care power of attorney, in which you designate a person (your "health care agent") to decide treatment for you.

A living will does not come into play unless and until your attending physician determines that:

You lack the ability to understand, make, and communicate health care decisions for yourself; and

You are either permanently unconscious or you have an end-stage medical condition that will result in death in spite of the introduction or continuation of medical treatment.

If you do not write down your wishes concerning your health care in advance, and you are later unable to understand, make, or communicate your wishes, those wishes may not be honored because no one else knows about them.

If you do not write down your wishes concerning your health care in advance, and you are later unable to understand, make, or communicate your wishes, those wishes may not be honored because no one else knows about them.
A health care provider who refuses to honor your wishes about health care must tell you of its refusal and help to transfer you to a health care provider who will honor your wishes.

Wills & Trusts

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