Free Living Will

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Living Will

Create your Free Living Will

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Frequently Asked Questions
In South Carolina, the Death With Dignity Act allows a person to make a declaration stating that no life-sustaining procedures be used to prolong dying if the person's condition is terminal or if the person is in a state of permanent unconsciousness.What is a Living Will?A Living Will lets you specify your choices for medical treatment. A Living Will documents your preferences for the time when you are no longer able to communicate or provide consent.What is a Medical Power of Attorney?A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to designate someone (your agent) to make health care decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so.

If you have a Living Will, the decisions made by your agent will be constrained by that document. The Medical Power of Attorney is useful for those issues that are not covered by your Living Will. In those cases, your Agent can ensure the intent of your wishes are followed.
What are my rights?The U.S. Constitution allows people to determine the kind of health care they will receive. However, many states limit the types of health care decisions that can be made, and the instructions that you provide below may go beyond what is allowed in your state. This will not invalidate your instructions, but your health care providers may be limited to what is legally permitted.

LawDepot does not limit your choice of instructions because this area of law is still developing. Some choices that are not now approved by legislation may be approved by the time your document is in effect. Moreover, the constitution gives you the right to make your own choices.

Your Living Will

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Advance Directive For Health Care
(Living Will and Health Care Proxy)

I understand that this document, my Advance Directive for Health Care, will be used to make my wishes known about what medical treatment or other care I would or would not want if become too sick to speak for myself.

I understand that I am not required to have an Advance Directive.

I understand that I can change my mind about these directions by tearing up this document and

  1. writing a new one, or
  2. telling someone at least 19 years of age of my wishes and asking him or her to write them down.

After I have executed my Advance Directive, I will tell my doctor, family and friends that I have an Advance Directive and where I will be keeping it.


SECTION 1. LIVING WILL

I, _________________________, being of sound mind and at least 19 years old, would like to make the following wishes known. I direct that my family, my doctors and health care workers, and all others follow the directions I have put in this Advance Directive.

I understand that these directions will only be used if I am not able to speak for myself.

Definitions:

For the purposes of this document, the following definitions apply:

  1. "Terminally Ill or Injured" means that my doctor and another doctor have decided that I have a condition that cannot be cured and that I will likely die in the near future from this condition.
  2. "Life Sustaining Treatment" includes drugs, machines, or medical procedures that would keep me alive but would not cure me. I know that even if I choose not to have life sustaining treatment, I will still get medicines and treatments that ease my pain and keep me comfortable unless otherwise directed.
  3. "Artificially provided food and hydration" means being given nutrients (food) and water through a tube or an IV to keep me alive if I can no longer chew or swallow on my own or with someone helping me.
  4. "Permanent unconsciousness" is when my doctor and another doctor agree that, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, I can no longer think, feel anything, knowingly move, or be aware of being alive. They believe this condition will last indefinitely without hope for improvement and have watched me long enough to make that decision. At least one of these doctors must be qualified to make such a diagnosis.

IF I BECOME TERMINALLY ILL OR INJURED:

  • I DO want to have life sustaining treatment if I am terminally ill or injured.   _____ my initials
  • I DO want to have artificially provided food and hydration if I am terminally ill or injured.   _____ my initials

IF I BECOME PERMANENTLY UNCONSCIOUS:

  • I DO want to have life sustaining treatment if I become permanently unconscious.   _____ my initials
  • I DO want to have artificially provided food and hydration if I become permanently unconscious.   _____ my initials

OTHER DIRECTIONS
The above are all my directions. I have no further directions. _____ my initials


SECTION 2. IF I NEED SOMEONE TO SPEAK FOR ME

I understand that I may use this document to name a person I would like to make medical or other decisions for me if I become too sick to speak for myself. I understand that such a person is called a health care proxy.

I know that I do not have to name a health care proxy, and that the directions in my Advance Directive for Health Care will be followed even if I do not name a health care proxy.

I DO NOT want to name a health care proxy.   _____ my initials


SECTION 3. THE THINGS LISTED IN THIS DOCUMENT ARE WHAT I WANT

I understand the following:

  • I understand that more options are available to me with respect to my future health care than those that are articulated in this document, and I confirm that the directions I have given were decided upon after much careful consideration in full awareness of the other options.  _______ my initials
  • If my doctor or hospital does not want to follow the directions I have listed, they must see that I get to a doctor or hospital who will follow my instructions.

EFFECT OF COPY
A copy of this Living Will Declaration has the same effect as the original.

SEVERABILITY
If any part of any provision of this instrument is ruled invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, such part will be ineffective to the extent of such invalidity only, without in any way affecting the remaining parts of such provisions or the remaining provisions of this instrument.


SECTION 4. SIGNATURE

Name:

_________________________

Date of Birth:

September 25, 2016

Signature:

______________________________

Date signed:

25th day of September, 2016


SECTION 5. WITNESSES

First Witness:

I, _____________________________, am witnessing the signing of this Advance Directive for Health Care because I believe the Principal, _________________________, to be of sound mind. I did not sign _________________________'s signature. I am not related to _________________________ by blood, adoption, or marriage and I am not entitled to any part of his estate. I am at least 19 years of age and I am not directly responsible for paying for _________________________'s health care.

Name:

______________________________

Signature:

______________________________

Date:

______________________________



Second Witness:

I, _____________________________, am witnessing the signing of this Advance Directive for Health Care because I believe the Principal, _________________________, to be of sound mind. I did not sign _________________________'s signature. I am not related to _________________________ by blood, adoption, or marriage and I am not entitled to any part of his estate. I am at least 19 years of age and I am not directly responsible for paying for _________________________'s health care.

Name:

______________________________

Signature:

______________________________

Date:

______________________________


RECORD OF COPIES

Record of people and institutions to whom I have given a signed copy of this document:

1. ____________________________________  Date: ____________________
2. ____________________________________  Date: ____________________
3. ____________________________________  Date: ____________________
4. ____________________________________  Date: ____________________
5. ____________________________________  Date: ____________________

Health Care Directive

What is a Health Care Directive?

A Health Care Directive is comprised of a Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney.

A directive allows you to plan your medical treatment in advance should there ever comes a time when you are unable to express your personal health care wishes.

A Health Care Directive is also known as:

  • Advance Directive
  • Personal Directive
  • Advance Decision
  • Medical Directive
  • Living Will

What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

A Medical Power of Attorney is a document used to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf.

A Medical Power of Attorney is also known as:

  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Proxy
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
  • Health Care Representative

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is a document that you use to indicate your medical wishes in the event you are incapacitated or cannot consent to your health care treatment.

Living Will vs. Last Will and Testament

If you are unable to express your health care wishes in the future, hospitals and family will reference your Living Will as a statement of your medical wishes.

Alternatively, a Last Will and Testament is a document used to indicate how you would like your assets divided or children cared for after your death. You cannot specify medical treatment preferences with a Last Will.

Why should I create a Health Care Directive?

Without a Living Will, the burden of making your medical decisions falls on your family members. Creating a personal directive not only gives you control of your medical wishes but it saves your family from making tough treatment choices on your behalf.

Additionally, appointing a Medical Power of Attorney allows you to discuss your treatment wishes with someone you trust prior to any unforeseen medical circumstance so they can make health care decisions in your best interest.

Choosing a Medical Power of Attorney/Health Care Proxy

When appointing someone as your Medical Power of Attorney, you should choose someone who is trustworthy, has your best interests in mind, and will make your health care decisions according to your intended wishes.

What medical decisions can I make with a Living Will?

Every state has its own limits as to what you are legally permitted to include in your directive. While you may specify instructions for a variety of medical situations and describe your feelings towards quality of life, keep in mind health care providers will only be allowed to carry out certain procedures according to your state laws.

Here are some of the main treatment choices you will want to specify in your Living Will:

Life Support

Life Support means any life-sustaining procedures done to a patient to restore function to an organ through medical intervention.

Common forms of life support include CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), defibrillators, assisted breathing, dialysis, and artificially administered food and water.

DNR is short for "Do Not Resuscitate", which means you do not wish to receive life support or resuscitation if an organ fails.

Comfort Care

Comfort care means healthcare professionals will use any means possible to relieve your pain, including administering medication or creating a comfortable environment for you to rest in.

Quality of Life

Many people define quality of life in their Living Will to notify their family and health care professionals as to what they may want in extreme health situations (life or death) and what constitutes a quality life for them.

When does my Health Care Directive come into effect?

The terms of your directive are binding once you sign the document. It comes into use when you have been found to be incapable of making your own medical decisions. Typically, this may be when you are incapacitated, in a coma, or in a vegetative state.

Can I make changes to my Health Care Directive?

You can make changes to your personal directive if you destroy your current one, notify your health care representative or hospital of your changes, and create and distribute a new directive. It's important to let everyone in your family know where you keep your advance directive so they can easily find it during an emergency.

Related Documents:

  • Power of Attorney: A document used to grant someone the authority to act on your behalf, such as tending to your finances or maintaining property.
  • Last Will and Testament: A document specifying how you would like your estate divided upon your death.
  • Child Medical Consent: A form granting a guardian the authorization to make medical decisions on behalf of your child.
  • Medical Records Release: A form requesting your medical records be released to you or a third party.

Related Articles:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Health Care Directive FAQ
Sample Health Care Directive

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