If something unanticipated leaves you incapacitated and unable to voice your preferences, your physicians or loved ones may not know how to proceed. A Pennsylvania advance directive such as a living will gives you a chance to outline your preferences when it comes to what life-sustaining methods you want doctors to use on you. While a living will helps ensure your wishes come to fruition, it also takes some of the pressure off your family members by taking any guesswork out of an already difficult time.
According to the American Cancer Society, the living will is a document that comes into play when you lack the capacity to make health care-related decisions on your own. When creating a living will, you may want to address the following.
Whether you want resuscitation
A severe accident or similar circumstance may keep your heart or lungs from working well enough for you to survive on your own. You may use your living will to outline whether you would want CPR, a breathing machine or similar resuscitative measures used to keep you alive or whether you prefer that no one attempt to resuscitate you.
Whether you want palliative care
Your living will also gives you an opportunity to dictate whether you want to receive treatment for pain, should the situation warrant it and you are unable to say so yourself.
Whether you wish to be an organ donor
You may also have strong opinions about donating your organs to recipients in need or giving your body to medical science. You may make these wishes known when drafting your living will.