It’s a legal document. It tells your doctors what medical care you want and don’t want. And it’s only for when you can’t speak for yourself due to an accident or illness. It’s called an “advance directive” because you make these decisions before you need care. It can include info about:
Whether you want to be kept alive on machines
If you wish to donate your organs after you pass away
If you already have an advance directive, we suggest you:
Sign and date it
Get two signatures from witnesses (state law)
Keep a copy for yourself
Give a copy to your health care surrogate
Give a copy to all your providers
Take a copy with you if you go to the hospital or emergency room
Keep a copy in your car (if you have one)
A living will is part of your advance directive. It lists your wishes for medical treatment if you’re terminally ill or can’t speak for yourself. It tells your doctors what treatment you do or don’t want. This could include treatment or care that would keep you alive when there’s no chance of recovery. If you’re at least 18 and live in Kentucky, you can write a living will to:
Choose a health care surrogate
Refuse or request treatment that prolongs your life
Refuse or request a feeding tube
Choose to be an organ donor
You can name almost anyone you want to be your health care surrogate. This is part of your advance directive. People sometimes call it the “durable power of attorney for health care” or “medical power of attorney.”
Your surrogate will speak for you and make health care decisions based on what you want done or what is in your best interests. You decide how much power your surrogate will have to make these decisions. You can also decide when you want your surrogate to have this power. It can be right away. Or only after a doctor says you’re unable to decide for yourself.
If the rules about advance directives change, we’ll tell you within 90 days. You or your authorized representative can file a grievance if the provider doesn’t follow your advance directive.
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