We often get asked, “why do you need a living will or advanced directives”. And, generally speaking, while a living will is there to make sure your wishes are known when you can no longer advocate for yourself, you also need a living will to help your family make the right choices and honor your wishes.
Imagine if you were in a coma and unable to communicate. Your family would be in a great deal of stress, not only dealing with the fact that you in critical conditions, but also trying to sort out what your specific wishes are. What if you want to be kept on life support as long as possible? Or, what if your desire is to have minimal intervention? Without a living will and advance directives, you no longer have a choice or a voice in your own care. You are leaving it in the hands of others to make decisions which may not reflect your values.
A living will only come into play if you are in a persistent and vegetative state or irreversible coma. In other words, where it looks like you are no longer able to communicate your wishes to healthcare providers. The living will ensure your doctors and family understand exactly what end-of-life care you wish to receive.
It is suggested that anyone over 18 needs a living will. Some reasons why you should consider a living will are:
When creating your living will, be specific in your wishes. This helps remove any ambiguity and confusion. Also, the more specific they are shows more informed, thoughtful reflection on your wishes and values. All this should be supported by personal communication between you and your healthcare agent before a medical crisis.
Recently, living wills and advance directives have gone beyond simply stating treatments and medical procedures. Our Healthcare Directive Action Plan guides you through different decision points and paths so you can make the most informed decisions. And, you can update your plan whenever you wish to do so. In fact, we encourage you to periodically review your plan. Get started on your living will today.