Living Will /Advance Directives/ Advance Medical Directive (AMD)

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A Living Will, also known as Advance Directives, Advance Medical Directive or AMD, is a legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment and care in case you become unable to make your own health care decisions.

In cases of serious illness or incapacitation it can serve to guide your healthcare providers and loved ones about medical orders and the type of medical interventions including life sustaining treatments you want or don't want under specific circumstances, especially those related to end-of-life care.

Key Components of a Living Will

Medical Treatment

This legally recognized document allows you to specify your choices (i.e. your advance directive) regarding various medical treatments, including life-sustaining treatment like artificial respiration, tube feeding, and resuscitation.

Designation of Health Care Guardian

You can appoint a trusted individual as your Guardian, someone who will make your medical care decisions on your behalf based on your wishes and values.

Life-sustaining Treatment

Address scenarios where you might be in a terminal condition or persistent vegetative state, clarifying your wishes regarding end-of-life care and whether you wish to continue or discontinue certain treatments.

Organ Donation

A Living Will allows you to express your preference regarding the donation of your organs and tissues after your passing, potentially saving or improving the lives of others.

Creating a Living Will

Below are the basic requirements for making a Living Will in India:

Eligibility and Guardianship

The Executor (person making the Living Will) must be at least 18 years old and mentally sound. They must name a person, preferably from their family or close relatives as a Guardian to help execute the Living Will.

Attestation

The document must then be hand attested by the Executor, two independent Witnesses, and countersigned by a notary or gazetted officer. The notary or gazetted officer must verify that the document has been made free of coercion to their satisfaction.

Notification

Copies of the Living Will must be shared with the Guardian, family physician (if any), and designated local government officer or the jurisdictional Municipal Corporation, for official records.

Integration

The Executor can also incorporate their Living Will as a part of their electronic health records, if any.

Evolution of the Requirements

Earlier, the process of executing an AMD was cumbersome, with the jurisdictional Judicial Magistrate of First Class (JMFC) playing an active role in it. The document had to be countersigned by the JMFC and preserved in digital format, forwarded to the Registry of district Collector, and copies had to be given to family members and the family physician, if any. However, this process has been simplified after the law was amended.

Here's how Yellow can help

At Yellow, we firmly believe that you should have a say in your healthcare decisions, no matter the circumstances. That's why we are committed to making the process of creating your Living Will as straightforward and accessible as possible.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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