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Did you know?

In one year:
• 1 in 68 will be injured in a house fire
• 1 in 258 will have a house fire
• 1 in 113 will die
• 1 in 8 will be disabled

The Living Will and Health-Care Proxy

You may have very strong feelings about the medical treatment you would or wouldn't want if you were terminally ill or severely injured and unable to communicate your wishes. One way to make your desires known is through a living will.

The Living Will

A living will describes the medical procedures, drugs, and courses of treatment that, in certain situations, you would choose for yourself if you were able to do so. It also describes under what conditions you would want treatment withheld and, if you so desire, can instruct medical personnel not to use artificial means or heroic measures to keep you alive if there is no hope for your recovery.

The Health-Care Proxy

To ensure that the wishes expressed in your living will are carried out, you should select someone to authorize a course of treatment on your behalf. A health-care proxy is a signed and witnessed document that appoints an agent to make decisions on your health care if your doctor determines that you are unable to make these decisions for yourself. Be certain that the person you name understands your wishes and is willing to act in your best interests should it become necessary.

When preparing a living will or health-care proxy, it is important to consult a legal advisor for help. Both of these documents can help to ensure your peace of mind that your health care wishes will be followed should the need arise.

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