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Do You Have Your Living Will Ready? If Not Then When..

With the rapid development of modern medical technologies a living will can be a very good solution for people with strong ethical principles. While restricting things like organ donation today, in future it can probably help to restrict some genetic or cloning related treatments. So if you care about how you will be treated, a living will is a good solution for you.


A living will is actually not a will at all, it is more related to the Power of Attorney type documents. Also this document can be labeled as healthcare directive or directive to physicians and it expresses a person’s desires and preferences about medical treatment in case he or she becomes unable to provide these instructions to the doctors, due to some terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness. One of the most important things that can be stated in a living will is that a person can choose natural death instead of artificial life support or other advanced medical techniques. Today living will can regulate any of the aspects of the medical treatment even tube feeding and revival. This document is also useful for people who want to keep some parts of their medical history and the consequences of these parts private. In some cases a ‘living will’ will stop the doctors from using a medicine that is dangerous for you and still keep the reason secret.


This document usually covers almost everything related to health care. Lots of people are afraid that it is limiting, but no it is more of a treatment manual, than a restriction list. In a living will it is possible to ask for all available treatment and choose any of the possible medical options. It is useful to take this document very serious and consult a doctor before writing it, a good living will usually contains some complicated medical instructions. Also it will keep you safe from medical mistakes made even before you enter the hospital. A good living will must also be properly written and signed to be valid.


A closely related document – the Durable Power of Attorney can also cover some of the medical instructions and allow the attorney-in-fact to make health care decisions for someone who cannot make those decisions him or herself. The difference between the documents is that the living will takes effect when the person unable to provide his or her instructions, the Durable Power of Attorney starts with similar conditions but does not require terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness to become effective. In some cases the doctors will consult only the family members on the health care decisions for the sick person, so if you are interested that your friends or unmarried partner participates in your treatment will be wise to write a ‘living will’ and durable power of attorney for this person. If your family is not close enough to reach you and make some important decisions, writing this combination of documents is also vital for your health. Most of the lawyers recommend writing both documents.

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