Living Wills: Exercising Your End-of-Life Wishes
A Living Will is an important document to protect your dignity and ensure your wishes are carried out when end-of-life decisions are required. Some events of families fighting over how their loved ones should be treated have unfortunately become the subject of media attention, resulting in images of individuals in vegetative states being broadcast on national news while their families fought over their care in the courts. A Living Will avoids prolonged court fights by stating the individual's own desires and obligating her doctors to follow her wishes.
A Living Will only comes in play when the individual is on life support and unable to live on his or her own. Once the individual's doctor has concluded that she is in a persistent vegetative state or otherwise in a medically terminal state in which she is irrecoverably being kept alive only by medical life support, the Living Will determines the next step. These document are tailored to the specific desires of each individual. Some individuals will state that all measures should be attempted to keep them alive while others will declare their desire to be allowed to die when they are determined to be in a terminal state. Still other individuals will take a more nuanced approach, providing specific time lines or touchstones that must be satisfied before life support is removed.
Attorney Wes Sullenger can help you prepare a Living Will that expresses your specific desires. Call us at (270) 442-4369 to schedule a consultation during which we can learn about your desires and discuss what we can do to help you.