Disclosure: Owners of this website will receive compensation for products purchased through featured advertisements.
Steps to Creating a Living Will
Years ago, a controversy ensued in the medical community regarding a 39-year-old womanís right to die. Have you heard about the Terri Schiavo case before? Schiavo had been on life support for over nine years since a heart attack prevented oxygen from entering her brain. That was fatal indeed. But the dilemma was that she would have wanted to stop her life support, but her family wanted her to continue fighting for her life.
The case, which gained national attention, taught people about the patientsí right to decide for his or her medical treatment. The patientís decision about medical care is best expressed in a document called the living will or advance directive. Creating such a document saves a patientís family from the emotional troubles due to dilemmas like that faced by Schiavoís loved ones.
If you want to lay out your wishes for medical care should you become unable to express them in the future, you may want to consider putting them down in writing. Most people over the age of 60 opt to create living wills, while only 30 percent of the young ones have written theirs. Experts recommend, though, that people beyond age 18 make their own living wills. The following are five steps in creating an advance directive.
1. Explore your options. The document you are going to write enables you to make your own decisionónot your doctor or your relativesóabout how long the doctors can keep you alive if you become mentally incapacitated. Thus, you need to carefully weigh your options according to your present and future situation.
2. Choose a family member or a friend who can be unwavering in pushing for your wishes and for the implementation of your advance directive. You may opt to pick a secondary advocate such as a health care professional should your primary choice becomes unable to perform his duty as an advocate of your medical care wishes.
3. Make your choices clear and foolproof. You can consult your family and friends about the kind of medical treatment that you will choose or refuse. For example, you can include in your document a resuscitation ban, which orders a doctor not to begin procedures to help you breathe again. You can also decide the kind of life support system you would like to have such as feeding tubes and dialysis.
4. Write down your will. You can ask a lawyer to draft the will for you. Every state has different laws regarding living wills, so it pays to consult a lawyer before you create one. If you want to save on cost, you can write the document yourself with the help of samples that you can find over the Internet. Likewise, you can download a free copy of a sample will online.
5. Update the document from time to time. Review it at least once a year and make revisions to your living will, if necessary. Changes in your situation can prompt you to change the kind of treatments you would want to receive or refuseómake sure that these changes are included in your will. Also, do not forget to send copies of your will to your doctor and family member.
Living Will Articles
Living Will: An Overview
What is a Living Will?
What is the Purpose of a Living Will?
Selecting your Health Care Proxies in Living Wills
When is a Living Will Effective?
What is the Difference Between a Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney?
Difference between a Living Will, a Will, and a Living Trust
Tips for Living Will Creation
The Benefits of Using a Living Will Software
The Benefits Of A Living Will: A Rundown
Living Will Forms: How To Deal With Them
Frequently Asked Questions about Living Will
Contents Of A Living Will
Specific Medical Treatments Involved in Living Will
Living Will: Planning for End-of-Life Issues
What People Should Know About Living Will
Guidelines In Making A Living Will
The Fundamentals Of A Living Will
More Than Just a Living Will
Differences of a Living Will and Trust
Advance Medical Directives: The Living Will
How to Create Your Own Living Will
Organ Donation on Your Living Will
A Living Will?