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The Fundamentals Of A Living Will
A living will is a document in which a person determines the life-prolonging procedures, measures, or treatments he wants or doesnít want to undergo in the event he is not in any capacity to decide for himself or communicate his preference. Essentially, it his written directives that would guide his physicians and other health care providers in the course of medical treatment. The person, through a living will, can tell if he wants to be revived through cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), be nourished through feeding tubes, or be supported through mechanical ventilation, among other things. If so, when and for how long does he intend to be on such support devices?
Living wills can be very specific, although at times it can be very general, which is why having a medical power of attorney (POA) is sometimes recommended. A POA is another document in which a person authorizes another individual to speak for him in case he has inability to do so and sometimes interpret the living will. This person, called health care agent or proxy, must know beforehand the other personís preferences and medical wishes. In some states, living will and POA are in a combined form under the name Advance Directives.
Living will is oftentimes associated with older people, but since all people are subject to any eventuality, it is recommended that anyone aged 18 and above should make a living will. This, of course, appears creepy to some people, but it has to be understood that making a living will lifts the emotional burden off the family members when the need to make medical decisions arrive. It can also spare the patient from prolonged suffering, if he, particularly, is beyond recovery. And this can likewise mean less financial spending for the professional and facility fees. But ultimately, it gives the patient the privilege to decide for himself even in comatose or vegetative state.
Laws on living will vary from state to state. Some states require living will to be notarized; others do not. There are also states that use standard living will form, and states that have specific instructions on making a living will. Before making a living will, therefore, it is important for a person to know the fundamentals of a living will in the state he is residing in. As soon as the living will is completed, copies must be distributed to loved ones, health care agent (if there is a signed POA), personal doctor, and, in case of hospitalization, attending physicians.
Changes can be made in the living will; however, these should be brought to the attention of all people concerned. The old living will, which must be destroyed, will then be superseded by the new version.
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Living Will: An Overview
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Specific Medical Treatments Involved In Living Will
Selecting Your Health Care Proxies In Living Wills
When Is A Living Will Effective?
Living Will Forms: How To Deal With Them
Organ Donation On Your Living Will
How To Create Your Own Living Will
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What People Should Know About Living Will
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What Is A Living Will?
Steps To Creating A Living Will
Frequently Asked Questions About Living Will
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Living Will: Planning For End-of-Life Issues
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The Fundamentals Of A Living Will
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Differences Of A Living Will And Trust
The Benefits Of A Living Will: A Rundown