A living will is a type of advanced health care directive that enables you to dictate your wishes with regard to medical care in the event that you become unable to express them yourself.
The living will kicks in under two circumstances:
- It may come into play if you receive a diagnosis for a terminal illness.
- Doctors may have to reference it if you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself.
You may use the living will to dictate your wishes in a number of specific health care-related areas. Individuals in Colorado may aim to cover the following areas, among others.
Whether you want doctors to keep you alive
If you become incapacitated, you may have preferences about whether you want physicians to try to keep you alive through artificial means. You may use the living will to state whether you want them to use dialysis, breathing machines or other artificial means of keeping you alive, should circumstances warrant them.
Whether you want palliative care
Many people also dictate whether they desire palliative care in their living wills. Palliative care might include pain medicine or medication for nausea, among other options.
Whether you want doctors feeding and hydrating you
If you are unable to drink or eat, your medical team may decide to hydrate or feed you through a feeding tube or IV. If you have feelings about this one way or the other, you may outline them in your living will.
While these are some of the common elements you may want your living will to address, there are other relevant areas you may also want to cover when drafting it.