What is a living will?

Question: I’ve heard about something called a living will. What is it? – A.N.


It’s a document that sets out the arrangements you would like made for your medical care in the event you are not capable of making the decisions yourself (for example, if you were in a coma). It’s also known as a health care directive. The living will informs your family, and medical personnel, of your wishes concerning the use of advanced medical technology. You can specify which measures you would want taken (or not taken) in order to keep you alive. You can state that you do not wish to be kept alive on a life support system, or that you do not want to be resuscitated if your heart fails. And you can leave instructions for donation of your organs. – G.P.N.