All of us should have a Living Will.
OlderWiserWomen.com published a list of 10 of the most common questions asked about Living Wills.
1. What is an advanced health care directive?
Advanced health care directives are written instructions communicating your wishes regarding care and treatment should you no longer be able to make your own health care decisions.
2. What are the components?
An Advanced Health Care Directive includes:
a. A Living Will which outlines your medical and treatment choices
b. Health Care Power of Attorney – the person you appoint to make medical and treatment decisions when you are no longer able to do so yourself.
3. How are they used?
If you are no longer able to make choices regarding your health care, these documents will communicate to your physicians what treatments you want or don’ t want such as artificial administration of food and fluids, or even the use of CPR or a breathing machine.
4. When do they become effective?
These forms are only effective when you cannot communicate your desires yourself. It may be used in situations where you are terminally ill and will die soon. In that case, life-sustaining procedures that only prolong the dying process will be withheld as you have indicated. Another time they will come into play is if you suffer from an event or illness that leaves you permanently in a coma. Because situations are varied, it becomes important to be as clear as you can, and make sure your POA understands your desires.
5. What happens if I don’t have one…?
You can read the rest of the article at OlderWiserWomen