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WHAT EXACTLY IS A “LIVING WILL” OR ADVANCED CARE DIRECTIVE?
I find that clients are often confused or have questions about a Living Will. This is a document that you sign in advance, and it provides clarification to doctors, nurses, hospitals, and family members regarding what services and medical interventions you wish for at the end of life. The primary purpose is for you to make this decision while you have the ability to do so and to give direction to family members to avoid arguments and disagreements about disconnecting life support systems. Living Wills only apply to a narrow set of circumstances. Medical doctors must determine that there is nothing more than medical science can do to revive a patient and the patient is being kept alive by machinery or ongoing treatment. If your wish is not to be resuscitated when this time comes, it is important that you communicate your wishes to your family.