Living will to plan the last stage of life without leaving burden on your loved ones
Once reaching the last stage of life, we might want to choose how to spend last moments of life. So, a living will is another choice for many persons to prepare the last breath such as a sick family member that children have to make a decision about treatment, or even we that might get terminal illness, or patients who cannot communicate. Living will is a choice to handle death.
Let’s see details of a living will. What is a living will? Who can make it? And how to do it?
What is a Living Will?
What is a living will? Many of you might be curious about that because you might think death is not around us, but actually death surrounds us and it happens regardless of time, place or age. If you know someone with terminal illness, you will understand that it is difficult to choose whether to have further treatment. If it was us who was the patient, we would be able to decide to stop or continue having treatment. But if we have to decide for our family member who has terminal illness, we might be worried that our decision might conflict with the patient’s decision.
Living will is a choice for patients who still have consciousness and be able to discuss with family members, close friends or physicians to make a refusal of medical treatment form, and plan treatments once having terminal illness or being in coma. Thai laws allow us to make a refusal of medical treatment to sustain life in the last moments of life through the living will.
Living will is a document expressing intention to receive or refuse medical treatment according to Section 12 of National Health Act B.E. 2550 stating that a person shall have the right to make a living will in writing to refuse the public health service which is provided merely to prolong his/her terminal stage of life or to make a living will to refuse the service as to cease the severe suffering from illness.
In conclusion, the laws allow us to make a living will document to receive – refuse treatment as to have natural death. Doctors and nurses who comply with the living will do not break the laws.
Objective to a living will is to certify a patient’s right to make a decision of natural and peaceful death without life sustaining equipment. Such intention is not euthanasia or active euthanasia; it is natural death with intention to not prolong life with medical technologies.
Living will is guidance for physicians to follow passive euthanasia by not using advanced medical technology. Proper treatment is palliative care based on conditions to alleviate pain and help patients to pass away peacefully.
Who Can Make a Living Will?
Living will or refusal of medical treatment form can be made by a person aged 18 years old and over who has consciousness, be able to communicate normally and write the living will by oneself. If such person is younger than 18 years old, consent of father, mother, guardian or foster parents is required. The living will can be made anywhere; however, we highly recommend you to have suggestions from public health professionals for having complete and valid document.
Before making a living will, discussion with attending physicians about it should be done because we will have opinions, treatment plans, related information and opportunity to have good life.
Witness is not required; but to maximize benefits of a living will, having witness or family members to know about your intention will enhance effectiveness of the document because witness can confirm that you make a living will while having complete consciousness, and ensure physicians and nurses about the decision.
How to Write a Living Will?
There is no fixed format of a living will, you can make a form or write/type on a blank of paper. However, the living will document must be signed to certify true copy. If a person can no longer write/type, the person can express intention to physicians or close persons, and allow others to write the document which the writer’s name must be specified. Steps to write a living will are as follows.
Living will can be made by a person aged 18 years old and over who has consciousness, be able to communicate normally and write the living will by oneself. If such person is younger than 18 years old, consent of father, mother, guardian or foster parents is required. You should discuss with public health professionals for recommendations.
If a person can no longer write/type, the person can allow others to write/type the document which the writer’s name, surname and ID card no. must be specified. Moreover, signature or fingerprint of the person who express the intention must be given. In case of giving fingerprint, witness must certify such fingerprint.
The living will should have witness to confirm the details in case of having doubt about accuracy of the document. Witness can be anyone such as family members, trusted close persons or public health professionals.
Required details to be stated in the living will are name, surname, age, ID card no. and telephone no. of the person who makes the living will, together with date of making the living will.
Types of public health services that you do not wish to receive such as CPR and intubation.Name, surname, age, ID card no. of witness, and relationship with the person who makes the living will. You might specify name of a person who will explain true intention of the person who makes unclear living will. The person who is specified must give signature and ID card in the living will too. You might also add other details such as death location, mental health support and religious observance.
As you can see, a living will or refusal of medical treatment form is very important because you can discuss with families and close friends to make a decision together, and you will have a chance to think thoroughly before making a decision and entering the last stage of life. This living will is another choice to help those in terminal stage to pass away peacefully.
So, when you are still healthy with complete consciousness, life insurance is a key matter that you should be aware of and have it for your loved ones. If unexpected situation occurs, your family members can live their life like when you are around.
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️ Call Tel. 1766, available 24/7.
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- Coverage conditions are as specified in the insurance policy.
- Underwriting is subject to the Company’s rules.
- Premium is eligible for tax deduction. Conditions are as specified by the Revenue Department.
- Conditions are as specified by Muang Thai Life Assurance PCL and the banks.
- Please study the details of coverage, conditions and exclusions before making a decision to purchase insurance.
Resources: Data retrieved on 18/10/2020