Living Wills, also called Advance Care Directives, are documents that set forth your personal wishes with respect to medical care. All adults have the basic right to control decisions about their own medical care. People have the right to decide whether or not they want to receive certain medical treatments. You can choose to decline medical procedures that only prolong the process of dying, or choose to use those procedures if you are terminally ill.
Iowa law ensures that the rights and desires of the terminally ill are honored. It provides that adults can direct, in advance, whether they want to be kept alive by artificial means in the event they become terminally ill and are incapable of taking part in decisions regarding their medical care. This written declaration is commonly referred to as a “living will.” Because it is signed in advance of its use, it is also referred to as an Advanced Directive. Federal law now requires hospitals and long-term care facilities to notify persons being admitted of their right to execute advanced directives.
For information and to download Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney forms, please click here to visit the Iowa State Bar Association web site.