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LIVING WILL:Dignified Death



  Apr 01, 2024

LIVING WILL:Dignified Death



1. What is a living will?

A living will is a legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment in situations where you are unable to communicate your decisions, particularly regarding life-sustaining measures and end-of-life care.

2. Why is a living will important?

It ensures that your medical care aligns with your wishes, preventing unwanted treatments and the burden of decision-making from your loved ones. It also helps in avoiding the financial strain of prolonged, potentially unnecessary medical interventions.

3. Who can make a living will?

Any competent adult with the capacity to make informed decisions about their health can create a living will. This requires understanding the implications of various medical treatments and life-support measures.

4. How does one create a living will in India?

To create a living will, you must be of legal age and in sound mental health. The document must detail the medical conditions under which you wish to refuse treatment. It needs to be signed in the presence of two witnesses and attested by a gazetted officer or notary. Copies should be given to a trusted doctor and a close relative or friend.

5. Can a living will be revoked or changed?

Yes, the individual who created the living will has the right to revoke or amend it at any time, provided they are mentally competent to do so. This ensures the document reflects the person’s current wishes.

6. What happens if there is no living will?

Without a living will, medical decisions are typically made by family members or medical providers, which may not reflect the individual’s preferences. This can lead to extended medical treatments that the person might not have wanted.

7. Is a living will the same as a last will and testament?

No, a living will is distinctly different from a last will and testament. A living will pertains to healthcare decisions while a person is still alive but incapacitated, whereas a last will and testament deals with the distribution of a person’s estate after their death.

8. How does a living will impact palliative care?

A living will can include preferences for receiving palliative care, focusing on comfort and quality of life rather than curative treatments, ensuring that end-of-life care respects the person’s wishes.


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