Invalidating living wills

31-May-2017 01:50

Patients need to play an active role in determining their own health care decisions.

A: All states legally recognize some form of advance medical directive.

A living will should be signed, dated, and witnessed by two people, preferably individuals who know you well but are not related to you and are not potential heirs or your health care providers.

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A: A durable power of attorney for health care is another kind of advance directive: a signed, dated and witnessed document naming another person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself and any time, not just at the end of life.Many states have their own living will forms, each with somewhat different requirements.It is also possible to complete and sign a standard form from a stationary store, draw up your own form or simply write a statement of your preferences for treatment, as long as you follow the state’s witnessing requirements.There are certain common conditions (terminal, irreversible brain damage and dementing illnesses) and treatment commonly used in end-of-life situations (CPR, ventilators, artificial nutrition and hydration, dialysis and antibiotics) that can be discussed in advance.