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Living Wills and Health Care Directives

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Living Wills

This document informs your family or physician how you want certain medical treatment to be given or withheld if you have a terminal condition and you are not going to get better.

A few important details about living wills:

  • Very specific conditions apply.
  • Allows choice of treatment and whether you want to donate organs after death.
  • Offers a window into your desires, but doesn’t substitute for expressing such desires to family/friends.

Healthcare Directives

A healthcare advanced directive are instructions developed by an individual to direct heath care decisions, should that person no longer be able to express his or her wishes. The areas usually covered are whether the patient wants all extraordinary measures to be taken in event of medical agreement that there is no hope of recovery. This has nothing to do with management of pain. This is usually referenced as a living will.

A healthcare agent form allows someone else to make medical decisions for an individual when the patient is not able to make such decisions for him or herself.

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