Questions Considered in a Living Will

Questions Considered in a Living Will

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Samantha Hayes reporting The one thing we will never know for sure, is what Terri Shiavo herself wanted.

The case has prompted a lot of talk about medical technology and to what extent any of us wants to be kept alive.

Thie website,, takes Utah law into consideration and takes you through each step of a living will-- everything from how to start the conversation with loved ones, to organ donation.

You have probably thought about what you would want if in Terri Schiavo's situation.

In fact, a recent Dan Jones poll found nearly 70 percent of Utahns asked said they would want the feeding tube removed.

But that is only one scenario, and often the decision is not easy.

A living will asks questions like: What if you require a kidney dialysis machine? A breathing machine? What if treatment for your illness has severe side effects difficult to manage? Would you do it if the chance of regaining your health was high? What if it were low?

Ken Alderman: "It's a very hard thing for people to address their mortality and that death is a possibility at any time."

Attorney Ken Alderman specializes in estate planning. He recommends having this discussion with loved ones and including decisions about health care in your medical file.

Ken Alderman/Elder Law Attorney: "The worst thing that can happen is you can end up in an emergency room, nobody knows who you are, nobody knows what care you want, but the default position for the medical profession is to do everything to make this person survive."

Sometimes feelings about medical treatment change over time, and that's why Alderman says Utah law prefers a legally appointed health care representative.

Ken Alderman: "I think a medical power of attorney is an even more useful tool."

Something to keep in mind, you don't need an attorney to draft a living will. They are available on the internet and from your health care provider, and it's free.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast