A living will is a powerful document that can set forth what you wish for the end of your life if you are no longer able to. It can cover a wide variety of different medical decisions, so it's important to take some time to think your will over before you finalize things. Here are just some of the things to keep in mind when crafting a living will.
Who Will Have Power of Attorney Over You?
Your living will comes into play when you are incapacitated, but you will still need someone who can speak to the doctors about your treatment and make your wishes as clear as possible. Most living wills handle this by designating someone with the power of attorney. In some states, this job might take on another name like health care proxy or patient advocate. Before you finalize your living will, you need to sit down with this person and make your wishes clear. Ideally, this person will be someone who can stand up for you if needed and fight for your values.
CPR and Other Forms of Resuscitation
If you have a major health incident that leaves you completely incapacitated and at death's door, your medical team can turn to your living will to figure out how you want to be treated. For example, some people choose to place a "Do Not Resuscitate" clause in their living will. This clause typically states that the person doesn't want to be kept alive if they are going to remain unconscious or otherwise unaware of what's going on around them. Your living will can go into detail on everything from CPR to using a ventilator to whether or not you would want a feeding tube installed.
A living will is also an opportunity to dictate your wishes for organ or tissue donation. If you want to donate organs, your living will may request that your body is kept on life support in order to ensure that the organs or tissue can be properly harvested before you are allowed to die. As this particular clause can sometimes conflict with a Do Not Resuscitate clause, you should make your wishes clear in writing and to the person who will hold Power of Attorney over you.
A living will is a document that every individual should have. Contact a company like Wright Law Offices, PLLC today and set up an appointment to go over your end of life medical plans.