Living will: Making decisions about your care if you can no longer do so yourself
An advance directive is a document that states your wishes regarding treatment or the end of life. This statement is used if you can no longer make decisions yourself.
Living wills: an example
An advance directive does not have to be an extensive or complicated text. It is important that you write the statement in your own words. You then discuss with your GP whether what you want is feasible. This makes it clear that the statement is yours and suits you. Your advance directive will be included in your medical file.
Below are some sample questions you can answer in your advance directive:
- Whether you would like to be re-suscitated
- Whether you have ever thought about which treatments you would or would no longer like to receive,
Do you still want to go to the ICU at the end of your life?
- When there is a wish for euthanasia. What is unbearable suffering for you, and why is that so?
- Who is your (legal) representative? Who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you can no longer do so yourself? What is the name, address, and telephone number of your representative?
You may later change your mind or doubt your decision. It is good to tell your family and your doctor about this. The GP will then change the appointments in your file.
You can find reliable information through these websites that can help you think about your care and treatment wishes:
For more information about an advance directive, see the Patient Federation website: What is an advance directive? (patientenfederatie.nl)
We hope that discussing your wishes will give you peace of mind. We are, of course, always available to discuss these matters with you again.