The Advance Medical Directive or Living Will

  • Now permitted in all states, an Advance Medical Directive or Living Will is a written declaration that, in the event of a terminal illness or disease when death is imminent or when a person is in a persistent vegetative state (i.e., a prolonged coma), life-prolonging procedures (often including respirators, nutrition and hydration) will be withheld or withdrawn as indicated in the Living Will.
  • The Advance Medical Directive or Living Will illustrates your wishes and preferences in the event of a terminal condition and shows that you have considered what you would want to happen in such a circumstance.
  • The Advance Medical Directive or Living Will acts as a guide to family members so that they are able to carry out your wishes rather than having to guess at what you would have wanted.
  • The Advance Medical Directive or Living Will sets forth your specific preferences for withdrawing or withholding certain artificial life-prolonging procedures.
  • The Advance Medical Directive or Living Will sets forth your preferences should you wish to die at home rather than in a hospital.
  • Most hospitals require patients to have an Advance Medical Directive or a Living Will.

The Advance Medical Directive or Living Will provides guidance to your loved ones so that they can carry out your wishes as you set forth, which can lessen their burden in this circumstance.