What Is a Living Will?
"A medical directive(authorized by Colorado statute) that conveys your wishes regarding life support and related matters to your physician and the hospital or hospice."
What Does it Provide? It expresses your wishes and instructions regarding life support, intravenous feedings and hydration, and medical treatment. Contrary to popular belief a Living Will does not exclude or prohibit the use of medications and procedures to relieve pain. Who Can Execute a Living Will? A person over the age of 18 who is mentally competent at that time. Your Living Will becomes effective if and only if you are: (a) comatose for 7 consecutive days; and (2) have been certified as being terminally ill by your primary physician and one other physician.
Why a Living Will May Not Work
Living wills are often ignored by physicians and hospitals because: (a) the only person with the legal right to enforce the Living Will is comatose; (b) hospitals and physicians fear lawsuits and unfavorable publicity from disgruntled family members; (c) life support measures generate big dollars for hospitals; and (d) Living Wills are limited in scope, and thus do not cover many situations.
Contact a Denver Estate Planning Lawyer at the Law Office of James A. Little Page to get the legal advice you need regarding your estate planning.