Health Care Directives

Health Care Directives

  • Takes the load off children and others who would be faced with the difficult decision to “pull the plug.”
  • Can avoid the significant costs of prolonged life-sustaining treatment.


  • There is always the danger that an illness could be erroneously or prematurely diagnosed as terminal or incurable.
  • If the document uses unfamiliar language and definitions, medical providers may refuse to apply it.

Did you know?

  • In many states, this document is known as a “living will.”
  • In Washington, a person designates separately whether they want to refuse artificially-provided food and water, in addition to medical treatment.

If you already have a life-limiting illness, you might consider a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form.  This is not a document you get at a law firm, it needs to be signed by a medical provider.  More information is available through WSMA.