Medicine is a rapidly developing science. Every year brings new advances in technology that can help sustain life longer than the previous year. This actually creates problems in preparing for your own end of life care. A Living Will might no longer be an appropriate document if you do not want your life to be sustained by artificial means.
Living Wills typically state that if you are suffering from a terminal condition with no hope of recovery that doctors should not sustain your life by artificial methods. In most cases, it is a basically a way to tell doctors not to use life support if they believe that you have no chance of ever coming off the support. However, as new medical technologies are developed, doctors have less certainty about a patient’s ability to recover from previously terminal conditions. A new technology might give a slight chance for recovery.
Because of this uncertainty, many people are choosing not to create traditional Living Wills. Instead they are attempting to create documents that tell doctors their wishes about the quality of life. These may or may not be effective legal documents. The best thing you can do is to appoint a Health Care Power of Attorney who knows your wishes and who can direct doctors to act accordingly.
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