What is a living Will?

There is often confusion between the terms will and living will. A living will is simply a name for a document that allows an individual to limit, define, or refuse medical treatment and life sustaining procedures such as nutrition, hydration, oxygen, and other medical procedures that prolong the dying process. Many people do not want to be dependent upon life support systems that are unnecessary for comfort or freedom from pain. A living will allows an individual to decide while they are still in good health that, if they become very ill or extremely incapacitated, they would rather pass on than remain in a vegetative state supported by medical or artificial means. For example, people who want to avoid living in a long coma with artificial life support would indicate their directions in a living will.

Who should keep the living will once it has been prepared and signed?

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