Preparing a living will helps take the guess work out of what types of treatments that you may want were you to suffer an accident that left you in a state where you were unable to communicate your medical desires. The living will can let your family, doctor and lawyer know what you consider appropriate care and what kind of care you want to avoid at every cost. This means that the responsibility for any of the tough questions can be taken out of your family’s hands and left with you. This can be very comforting to the family at a time where they have enough stress without having to take on the responsibility of having to “pull the plug” on someone in a vegetative state. Having already made the decision absolves them of having to put any type of thought into the situation.
If you are considering a living will, it is important to know all of the possible medical procedures that can happen and which ones you would find acceptable and which ones you don’t want applied to you in any case. It can include anything from Do Not Resuscitate orders (DNRs) to a yes on feeding tubes and a no on a breathing machine. If you are unfamiliar with all of the possible medical procedures that are affected by a living will, you should schedule an appointment with a medical professional who can help explain the procedures. Then you can make an informed decision on a case by case basis.
Living will forms may be found at your doctor’s office or the local hospital. They may also be available at state government offices or through a local charity. Some office supply stores even sell software that contains the forms. Of course in this day and age of the internet, you may just need to find the right hyperlink or Google the words living will and find out where you can download and print the forms from.
Once you have them filled out, it is important to get them distributed to the right people. Your doctor, the local hospital and your lawyer should be on the list. They should be fairly easy to deal with as long as the forms are filled out correctly. The harder part is making sure to address your medically related desires with you family, but this is the most crucial part of the process. By discussing with your family what you want done during certain situations, you can help to ensure the family peace during a time stress when emotions are going to be running high. The original form should be kept in a safe place like a safety deposit box. Family members should know how to access the forms in the case of an emergency, which is the whole point to drawing them up in the first place.
A living will can be changed simply by drawing up a new will. The last living will that is created is the one that takes precedence, but again, any changes that you make should be discussed with family members to eliminate any confusion or stress that people may have when it comes to providing you with the care that you want.
A living will is not just a good idea for your peace of mind but also for your family’s peace of mind. Without it, no one will be in a perfect position to say what you may or may not want, and that will cause strife among family members because no matter what decision is made, someone will disagree with it regardless of whether or not they have heard you say what you want. The written document provides proof.
Preparing A Living Will