A living will template is an essential legal document that allows you to appoint another person or persons as your health care agent. It also allows you to state how you want to be taken care of if something happens to hinder your ability to communicate your decisions regarding your medical care.
A living will (also known as an advance directive) summarizes what treatments and procedures you would or wouldn’t want in a specific case. If it’s not medically possible for someone else to make decisions for you, the living will work as a last will and testament.
What is a living will?
As we mentioned, a living will is a legal document that details your preferences for medical care. It is different from a last will and testament, which defines your assets and who gets them if you die. Use this article to learn more about what living wills are, why you need one, and how to make yours written, so it’s enforceable.
The Purpose of a Living Will
A Living will is a powerful tool because they outline precisely how you want to be cared for if you can’t make decisions for yourself. They can even guide your loved ones about what treatments and care options you would approve of or reject.
When to use a living will template?
A living will outline the type of medical procedures you agree to with regard to the preservation of your life. It would also contain instructions regarding your end-of-life care. This document would give you control over what should happen to you if you’re already unable to make those decisions yourself.
But obtaining a living will is no longer necessary, thanks to advanced health care. What is now required are advanced medical directives and a Health Care Proxy form. These documents allow you to take control of your medical care if the need arises. They would provide an outline of the type of medical procedures that you agree to, as well as for instructions regarding your end-of-life care options.
Mostly Situations When Living Wills Are Used
- Brain Injury
- Other end-stage conditions
- A vegetative state
What to Put in Your Living Will
A legal document that declares your wishes for medical treatment in case you can’t make those decisions for yourself – this is what a living will is. Living wills are only for medical treatment and end-of-life care and should consider any possible health issue or treatment outcome.
Help About Breathing
A medical ventilator is an oxygen tank connected to a breathing mask. The ventilator will breathe for you when your body is too weak to do so independently. It works by transferring oxygen directly into the bloodstream, which is vital to sustaining life. If a doctor recommends that someone be placed on a ventilator and only be taken off if there are no other options, it’s important to know what is placed on a ventilator entails.
Tube feeding delivers essential nutrients to your body when you cannot eat by mouth. If you want to receive tube feeding, you should tell your doctor. If you would like to receive this treatment later, include your wishes in your living will and discuss that document with your family.
Treatment and Medications
Many antibiotics and treatments like dialysis can fight infections, remove bodily waste, and can be lifesaving. But, you might not wish to receive such treatment for an extended period of time. This is because, for some treatments, there might be side effects that require more medications or even surgical procedures. Don’t just give consent off the bat when your doctor proposes a treatment; ask about it instead. It would be best if you always discuss your options with a medical professional before deciding.
A palliative care team is a group of health professionals who work together to make sure you can get treatment outside of the hospital when you are living with advanced cancer. You can still receive some of the same types of treatment that you would get if you were in the hospital, such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. An essential part of palliative care is providing emotional support and helping you talk about any concerns that you might have about your illness.
What Is the Difference Between a Living Will and an Advance Directive?
The terms “advanced directive” and “living will” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. When Americans talk about such documents, they often call them “Advance Directives” or “Living Wills.” These terms refer to instructions left behind when you die to let people know how to make your medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself.
Do I Need a Living Will?
A living will is a document that states your wishes regarding how you want your body to be handled in cases of terminal illnesses or if you’re already declared to be a full-fledged person under a permanent state of health. Understandably, a living will only take effect if you’re already declared legally dead. This means that it would also serve as an advance medical directive which puts the responsibility on a specific party to make decisions regarding your health care. At this point, the document can only be used as the basis on which these decisions should be made. It should be noted that since the living will specifically deal with end-of-life situations related to your health care, it’s not legal in all states.
You may not need a living will when you are young and healthy. However, writing one is very helpful if you don’t feel like deciding where you want to go for treatment or what medical procedures you want to undergo. It’s also helpful if your relatives disagree with you and are prepared to fight over your wishes.