Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Is A Living Will?

"Living Will" -- I could not think of a worse name for this instrument if I tried.  Declaration to Physician is what it is less commonly known as, and is just what it is.  In Wisconsin it is a document that allows you to speak directly to your medical team about your wishes if you are in an end-of-life state.  Here that is defined as a permanent loss of consciousness or a terminal illness with no hope of recovery.  Two treating physicians determine if you are in this state, and if you are, you can record your wishes about the use of equipment to keep you alive.  Ventilator?  Feeding tube?  CPR?

Photo credit: www.sxc.hu - free image

Unlike a power of attorney for health care, a declaration to physicians does not empower someone to speak for you.  Rather, it captures your wishes in a form that doctors can turn to if you are not able to speak.  Completing one is one of the easiest things you can do to take control of your life and express your wishes.

Please remember, a blog is not an attorney.  This post is not legal advice.  Please consult an attorney in your area.  And thank you for reading.

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