4 medical topics to consider when writing a living will

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2019 | Estate Planning

Planning for the end of life may seem a bit morbid. After all, Sarasota residents prefer to focus on life rather than death. Still, you may eventually lose the ability to make your own medical decisions. Executing a living will may help you keep some control through your final days.

Put simply, a living will is a written set of instructions that outlines your medical care in a legally binding document. Even if you are healthy, including a living will in your estate planning is probably a good idea. When you do, you may want to consider addressing the following four medical topics.

  1. Resuscitation 

If your heart stops beating, medical professionals may use CPR to resuscitate you. In some cases, they may rely on a defibrillator or another device. For a variety of reasons, though, you may be uncomfortable with resuscitation. If so, you can likely prevent hospital workers from restarting your heart by inserting a provision in your living will.

  1. Medical equipment 

Modern medicine provides physicians with a seemingly countless number of ways to sustain life. For example, a doctor may use a ventilator, feeding tube or dialysis equipment. One or more of these procedures, though, may be worrisome to you. Fortunately, you can tailor your living will to include or exclude the use of medical equipment for end-of-life treatment.

  1. Medication 

As you approach the end of your life, doctors may use antibiotics, antivirals or other medications to treat medical conditions. Unfortunately, many medications have side effects that may harm your quality of life. You can use your living will to address which medications you want to take and which ones you do not.

  1. Palliative care 

Before you draw your last breath, you may have uncomfortable injuries, illnesses or other medical conditions. While it is not medical treatment, palliative care aims to minimize your discomfort. Accordingly, you may want your living will to direct doctors to administer palliative measures.

Living wills provide you with an opportunity to retain some control over your end-of-life care. You know yourself better than anyone else does, so you can determine which provisions are best to include in the document.