Even if you consider yourself to be of optimal health, creating a living will gives you an opportunity to state what you want to happen in the event that a serious health emergency or issue arises. A type of advance directive, the living will gives doctors – and your family members – something to reference that dictates the type of care you wish to receive if you are unable to state your wishes yourself.
Doctors and your loved ones may reference your living will in two circumstances: when you either develop a terminal illness or fall into a state of unconsciousness. You may use the document to express your desires and preferences in the following areas, among others.
You may have strong feelings about whether you want doctors to give you pain medication or other medications to decrease your pain and increase your comfort level. You may also dictate whether you want them to give you anti-nausea medication if the need arises.
Unless you make your preferences known otherwise, expect doctors to attempt to keep you alive using CPR or similar measures, should your heartbeat or breathing stop.
Food and drink
You may also express in your living will whether you want doctors to administer you food or liquids if you become unable to eat or drink on your own. They may feed or hydrate you through a feeding tube or IV.
While these are some of the important areas you may want to address in your living will, this is not a comprehensive list of all possible areas of inclusion.