Modern medicine often gives doctors and other health care professionals a number of ways to keep many patients alive or even to bring them back to life. Some of these options, though, may make your skin crawl. If a serious illness or catastrophic injury renders you unable to make your own medical decisions, your living will give doctors a roadmap to follow.
A living will describe the procedures you want and the ones you would rather doctors not use to save your life. While writing your living will is a major milestone, you must also occasionally review it to ensure it continues to reflect your genuine intentions. In three situations, though, you probably need to rework the document.
1. Your health has changed
When you are healthy, writing a living will may seem like an abstract activity. If you have declining health, though, you may have different ideas about medical treatments. Consequently, after receiving a diagnosis, you may want to make informed changes to your living will.
2. Your relatives have changed
It is not uncommon for Louisianans to ask their close relatives to make medical decisions on their behalf. If you have recently married, divorced or otherwise changed the makeup of your family, you may need to update your living will along with the rest of your estate plan.
3. Your wishes have changed
As you age, your thoughts about medical procedures and end-of-life care may change naturally. Put simply, you do not want your living will to say something you no longer believe. Reviewing your living will annually help you gauge when updates are necessary.
Ultimately, if you have an updated living will when your health fails, you can be reasonably certain your doctors, relatives and others will respect your wishes.