Living Wills

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

A living will is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions. Dr. Edward Hill discusses living wills in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A living will is a written, legal document that spells out medical treatments you would and would not want to be used to keep you alive, as well as other decisions such as pain management or organ donation.

In determining your wishes, think about your values, such as the importance to you of being independent and self-sufficient. Would you want treatment to extend life in any situation?

Have discussions with your primary care provider, family and friends about your personal wishes.

Organ and tissue donations for transplantation can be specified in your living will. If your organs are removed for donation, you will be kept on life-sustaining treatment temporarily until the procedure is complete. To help your agent avoid any confusion, you may want to state in your living will that you understand the need for this temporary intervention.

Donating your body for scientific study also can be specified. Contact a local medical school, university or donation program for information on how to register for a planned donation for research.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.