What is the Living Will?

The Living Will is a document of advance directives, where you can express your wishes regarding the medical care that you wish or do not wish to be provided to you, in the event of suffering from an irreversible or terminal illness, which may leave you unable to express your wishes for yourself; The document can express the instructions you want.

The living will, in short, is a document in which you record the decisions to be made about your body. It should not be confused with the succession will , which is the one in which you decide on the fate of your possessions.

Legal regulation

The initial regulation of the living will is contemplated in article 11 of Law 41/2002 of November 14. To ensure its compliance, the National Registry of advance instructions and the automated file of personal data are created, which is regulated in the Royal Decree 124/2007, of February 2.

The living will document, where you can leave prior instructions and advance directives, is also regulated by law in all autonomous communities and in all of them there is an official Registry of living wills .

The Official Communities document must be signed before an official and the private document can be signed before a notary or before witnesses, two of whom must not be second-degree relatives, nor have any property relationship with the person who has requested the living will .

Content of the living will

There are several important points within a Living Will, which it would be important to make clear:

– Right to the end of life , avoiding artificial means, such as artificial feeding or life support techniques, that try to prolong life.

– Desire to receive adequate palliative care to alleviate suffering, to help you die peacefully, such as terminal sedation.

– If you authorize receiving experimental medical treatments

The Living Will is a document of advance directives, where you can express your wishes regarding the medical care that you wish or do not wish to be provided to you, in the event of suffering from an irreversible or terminal illness, which may leave you unable to express your wishes for yourself.

Declare whether or not you want to receive religious assistance

 What you want done with your body once you die, whether you want to be cremated, buried, or donate your body to science.

– Any other consideration that you consider appropriate.

In the Living Will you can appoint a representative, who understands and takes into account your decision, so that when the time comes they are willing to fight for compliance with the instructions you have left written in the document, in case of non-compliance by doctors or family members. ; You can even appoint a second representative to replace the first in case he or she is absent or has died.

Requirements to make a living will

In order to prepare this document you must meet the following requirements:

– Be in full use of mental faculties

– As a general rule, be of legal age, although there are some autonomous communities that allow emancipated minors to do so.

– Do it freely and without any coercion

– Do it in writing

You should also know that you can modify or cancel it at any time .

Registration of the living will so that it is valid

Finally, for the living will to be valid and your wishes expressed in it to be truly fulfilled, you must register the declaration in the Registry of Advance Wills or Advance Instructions that is managed by each of the autonomous communities.

As a general rule, in order to register it, you must provide the following documents:

– Copy of the document, according to the regulations of the Autonomous Community.

– Your clinical history.

– If you do it privately: DNI or passport of the declarant, witnesses or representatives, or do it directly before the Administration.

By registering your declaration, they will be able to know your wishes in all medical centers in the State.

Did you know about the existence of a living will ? do you plan to do it? Don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comments.

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