Living Will

What is a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that a person uses to make known his or her wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments. It is important to have a living will as it informs your health care providers and your family about your desires for medical treatment in the event you are not able to speak for yourself.

Generally, a living will describes certain life prolonging treatments. You, the declarant, indicate which treatments you do or do not want applied to you in the event you either suffer from a terminal illness or are in a permanent vegetative state.

A living will does not become effective unless you are incapacitated; until then you’ll be able to say what treatments you do or don’t want. Why is it important? People have the right to make their own health care decisions. Living Wills can help people communicate their treatment choices when they would otherwise be unable to make such decisions.