One thing that many people do not like thinking about is what would happen to them if they became severely ill to the point they no longer had the ability to make decisions on their own. Unfortunately, this happens to many people every single day. One way to guard against this possibility is to create a living will.
What Is a Living Will?
A living will is a kind of legal document that is created to express a person’s wishes when that person no longer has the ability speak or reason consciously. A living will may express certain things such as what should happen to a person’s property and assets in this situation. It may also outline how a person wishes to be taken care of in this state.
However, one of the main reasons people create living wills is to have a say on when and if those people should be allowed to die a natural death. In certain cases, a person may not be able to ever recover from an illness or injury. This illness or injury may leave that person in a permanent vegetative state.
For many people, existing in a permanent vegetative state is worse than death. They would prefer to be taken off of life support and allowed to die. For these people, quality of life is what is really important. For others, however, they may wish to remain in a vegetative state for as long as possible because of religious reasons or the faint hope of a cure.
What Happens if There Is No Living Will?
If the wishes of a person in a vegetative state are not outlined in a living will, these decisions will be made by others. Spouses are often allowed to make the decision of whether or not to remove a person from life support. If a person is not married, close relatives such as parents and siblings may make the decision.
However, even if you trust a family member or loved one to express your wishes on this matter, it may still not occur. There may be disagreements among different family members on what to do. This matter can become tied up in the legal system for years until a decision is finally made on whether or not to remove a person from life support.
This is why it is always a good idea to draft a living will. It’s a good precaution to take to make sure your wishes are granted when you no longer have the ability to make those wishes known yourself.