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One should not delay the inevitable, living wills are one of the planning steps or preventative measures that cannot be ignored. We need to make important life or death decisions before an accident catches us off guard. Right now is the time to make critical decisions as to whether or not we would like to decline life support, when it is clear that death is imminent the state of a coma becomes permanent. A living will is a document which lets you decide whether or not to be kept on artificial life support. Often, living wills also allows you to appoint someone to make important health care decisions on your behalf.

As long as you are competent, you are the only person who can decide what medical treatment you want and do not want to receive. Your doctor is able to give you information and advice about the pros and cons of different types of treatment. But ultimately only you can decide whether decide "yes" or "no" in sustaining your life. When issues of life and death need to be decided ahead of time, advanced directives are the right choice. Advanced directives or living wills are documents signed by a competent person giving direction to health care providers about treatment choices under certain circumstances. Consider the following types of advanced directives:

  • Durable Power of Attorney (Durable Power) - allows you to name a "patient advocate"
  • Living Will - allows you to state your wishes.