A living will is a legal document. It states the medical treatment you want to receive if you are unable to communicate your own decisions. A living will helps doctors and caregivers make medical choices that fit your choices. For example, people who are in a coma cannot tell their doctors what treatments they want. A living will gives you the chance to state your choices in advance.
A living will is important. If you are unable to express your wishes, it:
- Makes sure that you get the type of medical treatment you want.
- Helps your loved ones know what type of medical care you want.
Unexpected medical emergencies and end-of-life situations can happen at any age and for any person. It is important for all adults to prepare a living will in the event of an emergency. You should consider several factors when creating your living will. Think about your values. Ask yourself:
- How important is it to be independent and pain free?
- Under what circumstances do you feel your life would not be worth living?
- Do you want treatment to extend your life no matter what or only if you are expected to recover from your injury or illness?
To complete a living will, talk with your doctor and loved ones about your wishes and values. Your doctors can guide you about the specific medical decisions you need to think about. Your living will helps your doctors honor your medical wishes and values.
Have your say, make your living will today!