Legal Help With Pennsylvania Living Wills

Ensuring Your Wishes are Honored

No one likes the thought of making decisions regarding life-sustaining care if they — or their family — are put in the position to make such choices. But if you want your wishes to be honored, it is essential that your doctor and close family members are aware of your wishes and that your wishes are appropriately documented. Pennsylvania’s advanced directive for health care, also referred to as a living will, is the document that allows individuals to declare their wishes for receiving or denying life-sustaining care.

The attorneys of Giribaldi & Manaras, P.C.,  can assist you in drafting your living will to comply with Pennsylvania laws to ensure that your declarations are noted and followed.

Personalized Guidance With Your Living Will Declarations

It is your living will. Therefore, it should fully reflect your choices. While there are many types of care that are commonly included in a living will document, it is your decision of what type of care to accept or deny if your doctor should determine that you are in a terminal condition or a state of permanent unconsciousness. Failure to address certain types of care, however, may result in the doctors having no choice but to provide such care.

Although it is not necessary to use the statutory form for your advanced directive for health care (or living will), the following are examples of life-sustaining care that are addressed on the state declaration form.

  • Cardiac resuscitation
  • Respiration
  • Feeding tubes or IV fluids
  • Blood transfusion
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Surgery or invasive procedures
  • Dialysis
  • Antibiotics

When Does a Living Will Become Effective?

For your living will to be valid, it must be signed and a copy given to your doctor. It will become effective when your doctor determines that you are in a terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness AND another doctor has confirmed this assessment. At this point, doctors must follow the declarations stated in your living will — unless you revoke such declarations in any manner.