What is a Living Will and when is it important?

Health Care Agents sometimes must make very difficult decisions concerning life sustaining medical treatment.  Medical technology can prolong lives even when multiple, potentially life threatening conditions exist.  Although it is natural to avoid the topics of death and dying, appointed Health Care Agents must be aware of your beliefs and desires regarding life sustaining medical treatment, mechanical ventilation, and experimental treatment.

A Living Will is an important written record of intentions regarding life sustaining treatment.  A Living Will states that medical treatment that does not comfort, or ease pain, or promote recovery, should be withheld.  In other words, procedures that only postpone death will not be administered.  A well-drafted Living Will can lessen the burden of complicated healthcare decisions for your Health Care Agents.