The Living Will
The Living Will is a document that directs medical providers on whether you want life-prolonging treatment withheld if you are incapacitated and in a “terminal condition,” an “end stage condition,” a “persistent vegetative state,” or severely brain damaged. In this document you can express your choices and values regarding:
- • Assisted nutrition (tube feeding)
- • Tube or intravenous hydration
- • Dialysis
- • Artificially assisted respiration
- • Pain medication which may cause addiction
- • Antibiotics
You can also designate whether you would like your body or body parts donated to scientific research and/or transplants.
If you become incapacitated, it is important to you and your loved ones that your wishes regarding health care and treatment be followed. To ensure that your wishes regarding health care will be respected should you become incapacitated, you should have a properly executed Health Care Surrogate Designation which appoints a person whom you trust to act on your behalf and make health care decisions on your behalf. With this document, the person chosen to make the decisions must make decisions that he or she believes you would have made under the circumstances if you were capable of making decisions yourself.
The Bottom Line
It is best to make plans for your future before you need them. You never know when you will need to have plans in place, so be proactive. Our office can help guide you in making these important decisions and can assist you by drafting documents that will ensure that your wishes will be carefully documented and followed should you become incapacitated. Taking this important step will benefit both you and your family.