Living Wills and Medical Directives in Kentucky
Legal documents that allow you to plan and communicate end-of-life issues or decisions in case you are unable to communicate or make your own decisions, such as:
- LIVING WILL
Allows you to state your wishes concerning medical care and treatment in the event you develop a terminal condition or are permanently unconscious and can no longer make your own medical decisions.
- HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY (SURROGATE)
Allows you to appoint a person to make medical and healthcare decisions on your behalf any time you are unable to make your own decisions.
Living Will Allows You to Leave Instructions In 4 Important Areas:
- Designate/Appoint a Healthcare Power of Attorney/Surrogate/Agent
- Refuse or Request life prolonging treatment
- Refuse or Request artificial feeding or hydration (feeding tube)
- Express your wishes regarding organ and body donation
Who Should You Appoint as Your Agent in a Healthcare Power of Attorney?
- Remember that person you name will have the power to make decisions about your medical care or treatment if you become unable to make those decisions yourself.
- Choose a person who can best make medical and health care decisions for you.
- This person should understand your wishes and desires and be willing to accept the responsibility of making medical/healthcare decisions for you.
- Pick a spouse, sibling, adult child, or close friend who you trust to make these decisions for you.
- Talk with the person you pick and tell them how you feel about these issues.
- Pick a back-up person
What If You Change Your Mind?
- You may revoke your Living Will and Health care POA
- Sign and date a written revocation
- Orally tell your family/friends that you revoked it
- Notify your doctor that you revoked it
- Destroy the original or any copies of the Living Will or POA
Other Issues You Should Know About Living Wills
- You must be 18 years old to execute a Living Will
- The effectiveness of a Living Will is suspended during pregnancy
- Law requires that the Living Will be signed by you in the presence of 2 witnesses and that your signature be witnessed by a notary public