Living Wills and Advance Directives

Living will directives, health care surrogates and durable powers of attorney in Kentucky.

Advance Directives

Advances in health care technology provide more opportunities than ever for prolonging patients’ lives. As these options for life-prolonging treatment increase, so do your choices.

As an adult, you have a right to make your own health care decisions. This right includes defining your wishes regarding life-prolonging treatment and artificial nutrition (food) and hydration (water and fluids) and choosing who will make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so. By putting your choices in writing, you’ll ensure your wishes are followed in the event you are unable to communicate or make these decisions.

An advance directive is a written document created by a competent adult expressing instructions for future health care in the event the individual becomes incompetent or unable to communicate, or loses decision-making abilities. There are two types of advance directives that are recognized under Kentucky law:

  • Living will directive, which includes a health care surrogate designation
  • Durable power of attorney

Your decision about advance directives is a personal one, which should be made only after careful thought. If you are considering a living will directive or a durable power of attorney, you may want to discuss your concerns with a family member, close friend, clergy or your physician. If you have any questions about the legal validity of your advance directive, you should consult an attorney.

For Additional Information

If you have additional questions about advance directives, ask to speak with a Norton Healthcare chaplain or a patient representative.

If you do not have an attorney and want to obtain legal advice regarding advance directives, call Lawyer Referral Services at (502) 583-1801 or the Legal Aid Society at (502) 584-1254.

This website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Norton Healthcare takes no position on advance directives or whether or not an individual should create a living will directive or a durable power of attorney.

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