Living Wills

A Living Will is a written document in which a person expressly states that they do not prefer to be kept alive by artificial means or life-sustaining procedures and that they shall be permitted to die in the normal course of events. For a Living Will to be effective, the person making the will has to be deemed to be in a terminal condition by a physician and that he or she would only survive if extreme measures were taken or if the patient is either unconscious or otherwise unable to decide whether the medical procedures shall be continued or discontinued.

At the time of the execution, the person requesting the Living Will to be drafted must be competent. To be declared competent, the individual must be able to understand the consequences of his or her decision. Two witnesses must be present at the execution. Once executed a copy of the Living Will should be delivered to any treating physician; any hospital that the person may be admitted to the future; and a close family member so that it is guaranteed that the person’s wishes are carried out.