The Power Of The Written Statement: Living Will
While a health care proxy gives another person the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to, it does not specify what those decisions must be. That is why in addition to a health care proxy, you may want a living will.
A living will is a written statement of your wishes regarding medical treatment. This document can control the decisions that an agent named in a health care proxy or others make on your behalf.
At Weinstein & Randisi, a Rochester, New York, estate planning law firm, we help clients craft comprehensive plans for the future so that they can feel confident that their wishes will be respected when they are unable to speak for themselves.
What Should My Living Will Say?
The decisions that you make in your living will are entirely up to you. Some common directives given in living wills include:
- I do not want Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
- I do not want mechanical respiration, or life support.
- I do not want blood transfusions.
- I do not want an abortion.
- I do not want any painful or invasive treatment that will result in prolonging my life.
- I do want maximum pain relief, even if it will cause my life to end sooner.
Your living will can also put conditions on these decisions and can include more detailed instructions regarding the care you wish to receive, and that which you want to decline.