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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I do not want to be kept alive on life support in the event that I become severely incapacitated. Is there anything I need to do to ensure that this happens?

Answer: Yes.

It is necessary to execute documents that make clear to your loved ones and doctors your wishes regarding your health care choices should you require life support. These documents are commonly referred to as advance directives.

There are two types of advance directives: a health care proxy and a living will. A health care proxy enables you to appoint a person whom you trust to make health care decisions for you if you are not able to do so yourself. A living will supplements the health care proxy. The living will states whether or not you wish to be sustained on life support if you will not likely recover from an illness or injury that will result in your death or mental and physical incapacitation (e.g. a coma). The living will describes the kind of care you wish to receive. The living will also asks that your doctors, family members, hospital and the courts honor your wishes regarding life support.

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