In case the living will form necessitates the appointment of a patient advocate, he or she must not be any of the two witnesses. Your advocate should carry the burden of deciding for your health care and medical treatment in the unfortunate event of your incapacity to make the decision for yourself.
This person is also known as a health care representative. He or she may be a spouse, a daughter or son, a family member, a friend, or any significant person that you absolutely trust.
In essence, a living will becomes effective when the creator is no longer capable of making decisions with regard to medical treatment. It may be in the face of a terminal illness, permanent unconsciousness or coma, inability to communicate, mental incapacity, or vegetative condition.
In the event of any of these situations, the health care provider – a hospital, a hospice, or a nursing home – must be provided with a copy of the advance directive. The instructions contained within the legal document will serve as the basis for the continuation or withdrawal of medical treatment and other life-sustaining procedures.
The health care team, specifically the attending physicians, is legally bound to follow the directives indicated on a living will. However, although it is considered a legal document, the maker may revoke or change the contents of the will provided that it is carried out prior to becoming debilitated.
On top of that, the proper procedures for the revocation of living wills should be followed to make the act official.