Writing Your Living Will

Writing Your Living Will

A living will is a written statement that expresses your wishes to others regarding the use of specifically defined life-prolonging procedures if you become terminally ill, injured or permanently unconscious.

Living wills only relate to certain situations—usually when a person has an injury or illness that is fairly certain to result in death, or when the person is in a persistent vegetative state. They typically provide that one or two doctors must determine that death is fairly certain or that the person is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery. Once this determination is made, the living will tells your family, doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers—and your health care agent, if you have one—what types of medical procedures you do or do not want.