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A living will gives you a voice in critical and personal health care decisions

Anyone who has ever witnessed the physical demise of a loved one understands the tremendous emotional and mental pain and sadness that are tied to such an event. In cases where the life of a parent, spouse or adult child hangs in the balance after a serious heart attack or car accident, family members often agonize over questions and decisions related to what a loved one would want with regard to life-saving interventions.

When questioned about these types of difficult subjects, most of us have strong opinions about the types of medical interventions we would and would not sanction if personally facing life and death circumstances. Views and opinions about these types of matters are highly personal and can significantly impact an individual's quality of life and the lives of loved ones. For these reasons, all adults are advised to draft a living will.

A living will allows an individual to have a voice about critical health care decisions at a time when he or she isn't able to verbally state those opinions. Not only does having a living will provide an individual more control over decisions related to his or her health and wellbeing, but it also spares loved ones from having to agonize and potentially argue over what to do or not do. It also absolves doctors of trying every available method to save an individual's life, even if the quality of that life would be severely diminished.

There are many factors that must be taken into account while going through the process of drafting a living will. It's important; therefore to consult with an attorney who can answer questions and help establish clear directives so medical decisions are made in accordance with an individual's wishes.

Source:, "Living Will Basics," Sept. 3, 2015

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