What is a living will?

A living will is a written statement of your health care wishes should you become seriously ill and unable to communicate. The document is designed to provide guidance to a representative of your choosing to make healthcare decisions for you or to the attending physician if there is no health care agent. The living will can also include:

  1. The ability of your representative to access medical records, transfer you to a different facility or to another state, and/or ability to authorize a do not resuscitate order;
  2. Directions as to providing or withdrawing artificial nutrition and hydration;
  3. Directions as to pain medications;
  4. Religious beliefs that might impact medical treatment; and
  5. Instructions for funeral and burial services.