Q. 1. It is my understanding that there are four key documents that every Catholic should have. What can you tell me about the "Living Will" document?
A. 1. The "Living Will" is a "Health Care Directive" that tells others how you would like to be treated if you lose the capacity to make decisions regarding your health care. This directive gives your doctor or other health care provider directions about what kind of measure are acceptable to you when you can no longer communicate what you want. To make a directive you must be at least 16 years of age (May vary in different countries/states and or provinces) and capable of making health care decisions. The best time to make a Health Care Directive is when you are in good health, planning ahead to a time when you may no longer be able to make decisions for yourself. A directive will take effect when you become incapable of making or communicating your health care decisions. A directive is not and cannot permit active euthanasia or assisted suicide.
[Source: Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, SK, Canada.]