Life-support treatments are any medical procedure, device, or medication to keep you alive when your body may not be able to keep itself alive on its own.
Your doctors will use your Living Will as they manage your care, and your Health Care Proxy (or Health Care Power of Attorney) will use your Living Will as a guide for how to best advocate for you.
A living will, also called a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions. It has no power after death.
A Living Will is a legal document that specifies the types of treatments you want or don’t want at the end of your life, specifically if you are suffering from a terminal or progressive illness, if you are ill and it is unlikely that you will recover, or if you are in a coma (persistent vegetative state).
In India, the case of Aruna Shanbhaug, a rape survivor who was in a vegetative state for 42 years brought the living will into limelight . The Indian judges said the right to die with dignity was a fundamental right and that an advance directive by a person in the form of a living will could be approved by the courts.
Here are the requirements for drawing up a living will and the elements that must be a part of it:
• The person drawing up the ‘living will’ must be an adult, who is of sound mind and is capable of communicating his/her decision clearly.
• This is a voluntary process and the ‘living will’ cannot be obtained under duress or coercion