Living Wills Make Final Wishes Known


 Living Wills Make Final Wishes Known

If you're lucky enough to have a living will, your final wishes will be known. You'll also know that your loved ones will not be burdened with making decisions for you, one of the most stressful things imaginable.

A living will outlines what kind of life-saving measures should or should not be used if a person becomes incapacitated. There are various types of living wills: an "instructional" living will and a "mandatory" living will. Instructions can include choosing a health care surrogate, requesting that specific treatments not be given (such as dialysis) or asserting that life support should only be used in certain situations (such as if the person is terminally ill).

Final Wishes for a Living Will
When you have a living will, your wishes will be known even after you no longer have the capacity to express them in other ways. They will also serve as directives as to how your wishes should be carried out if you're unable to make those decisions. For example, if you request that your husband decide where to bury you, he'll know exactly what to do and won't have any questions about it. You've also made it clear that for health reasons he should not make financial decisions on your behalf.

Your wishes should include addressing any siblings and other loved ones, such as family members or friends. If you want to be buried in a certain place, it would be a good idea to include your closest relatives in this conversation. This will help them understand your wishes and make them more comfortable with the situation.

It's also important to specify that you don't want to be resuscitated if you can't decide for yourself. It is known that some people sign living wills thinking they won't need them but do end up needing them anyway. By stating this now, it will make everything clearer for those who may have to make decisions on your behalf in the future.

If you are a devout Catholic and you want to be buried in the church cemetery or entombed, it's a good idea to include this in your living will. You may also want to include your religious beliefs about when life ends. Not everyone agrees on this and you can specify that you don't want to be kept alive artificially if it is against your beliefs. Your family and friends will know exactly what you want done with any remains after you die. If they find any contradiction between your living will and your verbal wishes, they'll know which ones to adhere to.

Remember as well that if you have any pets, they should be included in these discussions when making funeral plans. You may want to give them to someone else or have them euthanized. Your decision to have a pet euthanized shouldn't be an issue for your family as long as this is in your living will.

Many people feel better knowing that they can leave instructions in writing when it comes time for them to die. Even if you don't believe in the afterlife, you know that your wishes are known and will be followed.

If you'd like more information on creating a living will, see Living Wills: Plan Your Last Will And Testament Now.
18 Sep 2007 Further Reading ... © 2007 All Rights Reserved
What are your thoughts on this article? Are you planning to have a living will or other medical directive? Have you had a living will and did it help your family with their decisions? Did you not have one and wished you did? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!
I hope that this article has been helpful to you, provided new information or inspired you to consider a different point of view. Whether you agree or disagree with the ideas or terms used in this or any other article, please remember it is your choice to read and consider different points of view.
You decide what you think is best for you and how you can make life more favorable now and in the future. You also decide if this information helps you make better choices for your health, well-being or emotional health.
This site is intended to help others who are considering making a decision about their health care and I appreciate any feedback (positive or negative) that people choose to share with me about this site.
Jodine Van Dusen, RN, is a nurse practitioner and has a BSN in nursing. This article was originally published on & republished on this site with permission . © 2007 The Nurse Practitioner Plaza Inc. All Rights Reserved
Posted by Jodine Van Dusen, RN at 08:41 PM Add Comments for Living Will Information Post a Comment Name Email Website (Optional) Notify me of new comments via email. Thank you! Subject Line

12 Sep 2007 Living Wills to Protect Benefit Others' Dignity Generally, when it comes to making decisions about your life or health care, you are entitled to choose whatever you want for yourself. This includes making decisions regarding things like what you eat, whether you have a vasectomy or other type of reproductive surgery, the type of transplant you get and how you die. However, there are certain situations where your decision regarding what life-sustaining measures should be used can impact others. This is especially true when it comes to life-saving decisions. If someone has a living will and that person's wishes are known throughout the process of caring for that person after he or she becomes incapacitated, it may give those people some peace of mind knowing exactly what they should be doing in these situations. For example, if it becomes necessary to put someone on life support, there will be no confusion as to who is responsible for deciding how long that person will stay on life support or whether that person should be resuscitated. The point of a living will is to provide for your needs during times when you cannot make decisions for yourself. You may want the option to change your mind at any time you want and, therefore, give other people permission to continue with your wishes if you decide it would be in your best interest not to do so. There are many reasons why this would help protect the dignity of someone who is unable or unwilling to make these decisions. If you do not have a living will, your family will have to decide on what measures should be taken next with your health care and they may not make the decision that you would have made if your wishes were known. Another reason why a living will is important is because, legally, next of kin can decide to take away the right to make medical decisions for someone else if he or she goes against their wishes in the medical situation. This can be devastating for everyone involved.


If you decide to have a living will, it should be written in a way that can help those around you to make decisions about your health care. Remember that if you are unable to make these decisions, other people will be asked and their opinions and feelings should be taken into consideration as part of the process. Your living will can help facilitate the process of protecting your wishes.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post