FOR PREPARING WILL TO LIVE
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
(Please read the document itself before reading this.
It will help you better understand the suggestions.)
YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO FILL OUT ANY PART OF THIS "WILL TO LIVE" OR ANY
OTHER DOCUMENT SUCH AS A LIVING WILL OR DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
FOR HEALTH CARE. NO ONE MAY FORCE YOU TO SIGN THIS DOCUMENT OR ANY
OTHER OF ITS KIND.
The Will to Live form starts from the principle that the presumption should be for life. If you
sign it without writing any "SPECIAL CONDITIONS," you are giving directions to your health care
provider(s) and health care agent
to do their best to preserve your life.
Some people may wish to continue certain types of medical treatment when they are
terminally ill and in the final stages of life. Others may not.
If you wish to refuse some specific medical treatment, the Will to Live form provides space
to do so ("SPECIAL CONDITIONS"). You may make special conditions for your treatment when
your death is imminent, meaning you will live no more than a week even if given all available
medical treatment; or when you are incurably terminally ill, meaning you will live no more than three
months even if given all available medical treatment. There is also space for you to write down
special conditions for circumstances you describe yourself.
The important thing for you to remember if you choose to fill out any part of the "SPECIAL
CONDITIONS" sections of the Will to Live is that you must be very specific in listing what
treatments you do not want. Some examples of how to be specific will be given shortly, or you may
ask your physician what types of treatment might be expected in your specific case.
Why is it important to be specific? Because, given the pro-euthanasia views widespread in
society and particularly among many (not all) health care providers, there is great danger that a vague
description of what you do not want will be misunderstood or distorted so as to deny you treatment
that you do want.
Many in the medical profession as well as in the courts are now so committed to the quality
of life ethic that they take as a given that patients with severe disabilities are better off dead and
would prefer not to receive either life-saving measures or nutrition and hydration. So pervasive is
this "consensus" that it is accurate to say that in practice it is no longer true that the "presumption is
Some states use the terms “attorney in fact,” “surrogate,” “designee,” and “representative” instead of “agent.”
They are synonymous for purposes of these suggestions.