It is a wise forethought to plan for incapacitation. A legal will dictates what happens to you and your belongings after death. But, what makes medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated, but still alive? That document is called a living will (AKA: physicians directive, health care declaration, or health care directive.)
If you have ever seen living will samples, then you might know that it addresses specific medical care directives during incapacitation. Of course, it must be made with a sound mind. Every adult would be prudent to express their wishes through a living will. The unexpected is only a second away. The national coverage of vegetative patient, Terri Schiavo, is the quintessential example of why living wills are not just for the elderly. Living wills assure that your medical care demands are followed word for word. It also unburdens loved ones from making life and death decisions for you.
Living wills can be as general or detailed as you wish them to be. For example, you can make a general statement like: No measures taken to prolong life in case of irreversible or incurable diseases. On the other hand, you can make a specific statement. An example would be: I do not want to be given any antibiotics, palliative medications, analgesics, CPR, or gastrointestinal feeding tubes in case of irreversible or incurable disease. You can even go as far to say whether you wish to have hydration and food given. However, you can also make a living will state what you do specifically want.
The Uniform Rights of the Terminally Ill Act established the right for a person to have a living will. However, this law varies state by state and some states do not refer to it as a living will, but rather one of the names listed above. Some states have specific forms and validation rules to make the living will valid. You must check the particular state where you live to get exact details. You may find it helpful to hire a lawyer to show you living will samples and assist you in drafting your own. Usually, the legal fee is $200.00-$600.00, but well worth it to ensure you are in accordance with state laws. Local hospice agencies can also show you living will samples and help you find the right form for your state.
Common issues that are addressed in a living will are:
* Organ donation
* Palliative treatment and medications
* Wound care
* Disease specific medications
* Blood transfusions
* Invasive testing
Dont just store your living will away. This may seem like a safe idea, but it is useless if not readily available. It is advised to give a copy to your physician, lawyer, and power of attorney. Consider a power of attorney too, because not every scenario can not be documented in a living will. It is wise to look over your living will every five years or with any health change and make any desired changes inside.
Candis Reade is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about Living Will Samples [http://mylivingwills.info/living-will-samples], please visit My Living Wills [http://mylivingwills.info] for current articles and discussions.
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For more information, you might enjoy reading my book, More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife. Purchase paperback on Amazon.com. It's also on Amazon as an e-book for those who have Kindle or Sony Readers. The audio book is now available!