A living will allows you to dictate how you want your health care to proceed in the event you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself. You might feel comfortable with naming someone as medical power of attorney in Pennsylvania, but even so, a living will permits you to make your medical wishes more directly clear. Per WebMD, here are some provisions you can make for yourself in your living will.
First, consider what measures can be used to sustain your life. People will go to varying lengths to keep themselves alive, so whatever you want to choose is up to you. You might go as far as requiring all available means to keep you alive. Some people, however, do not, and may limit themselves to being fed with a tube, the use of antibiotics, ventilation or CPR. You can also specify how long these measures are to be used in the event you do not get any better.
Some people also do not want to be in severe pain if they wind up in a state where they cannot communicate their wishes to medical staff. However, doctors may not want to give you medication that could potentially make your health any worse. A living will is a good place to address whether you want to be administered with pain medication that might worsen your condition.
Living wills are also used to address situations where a person ends up brain dead with no hope of recovery. Some people want to be sustained on life support regardless, while others may want life support removed if they are brain dead. There are some people who will opt to be sustained with life support machines until a major organ fails.
You can also address what happens to you after your death. Living wills can be used to dictate if you want your organs to be donated. You can also describe in what manner your body should be dealt with. Some people desire a burial, or you might opt for cremation instead. There are also individuals who donate their bodies for medical research.
This article is written to provide readers with information on estate planning issues. It is not intended as any actionable legal advice.