Health Care Directives

Living Will
A living will is a document that instructs an individual’s physician to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment that serves only to prolong the process of dying or to maintain the patient in a persistent vegetative state.  Copies should be provided to your doctors and also to you family members.

Power of Attorney
A power of attorney for health care is a document legalized by statute whereby a person (principal) designates and authorizes another individual (attorney-in-fact) to make health care decisions for the principal. Health care is defined to mean “any treatment, procedure or intervention to diagnose, cure, care for or treat the effect of disease, injury and degenerative conditions.”

A power of attorney for health care can greatly ease the burden of family and friends when the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to make her or his own decisions regarding health care.  Nursing homes and other care providers are increasingly requesting such document prior to admission.