All Americans have the legal right to decide what medical treatment they wish to receive. They usually choose a specific course of treatment after discussing the benefits and risks with their physicians. Often the nature of one’s illness affects the patient’s ability to make such decisions. However, the legal right to determine one’s health care can be maintained after the patient’s mental or physical ability to communicate is impaired. This right is preserved with a Living Will document written one day, one week, one, five, ten or twenty years prior to the onset of the illness. A Living Will provides a series of written instructions to doctors as to what care the patient wishes to accept or reject. The doctor is legally obligated to follow the patient’s instructions, even when the patient is no longer able to act for himself or herself. The Living Will relieves loved ones of the burden of having to make difficult decisions and alleviates the legal and social pressures which foster extended care beyond the point deemed desirable by the patient. This handbook provides you with everything you need to know to prepare your own Living Will with forms for 50 states included. You’ll learn the legal and medical reasons you need one, how to decide a proxy and how to prepare for the future. Also included is a discussion of how religions view Living Wills.