Living Wills

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What Is A Living Will?

A living will, also called an advanced healthcare directive, allows you to specify what kind of medical treatment you would and would not want in case you were unable to communicate your wishes. It directs doctors to administer, withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatments in the event of a terminal or irreversible condition.

What does a living will cover?
  • Resuscitation, like CPR or electric shock to the heart.
  • Mechanical ventilation, like a machine that breathes for you if you are unable to on your own.
  • Tube feeding if you were unable to eat.
  • Dialysis, for if your kidneys are not functioning.
  • Using medicines like antibiotics or antivirals
  • Comfort care, like pain medication or hospice
  • Organ and tissue donations
  • Donating your body to science.

Do my spouse and I both need a living will?
Yes. It is important that each of you document what your medical wishes are. This saves your spouse from having to make life-and-death decisions on your behalf. Instead, they can honor your wishes as stated in your living will.

How often must I update my living will?
It is important to take a look at your living will every 2 to 3 years, or sooner if you have a significant life change, like a change in your health, moving, a financial change, a relationship change or even a change of heart about your medical care. Laws about health care decisions and medical technology are always changing, so it is important to check in to make sure your living will reflects those changes. Proper legal advice will help you determine what is best for your situation.