A Living Will allows you to state whether you want your life prolonged if you will soon die from a terminal illness or if you are permanently unconscious. In general, a Living Will indicates whether you want certain treatments withheld or withdrawn if they are only prolonging the dying process or if there is no hope of recovery.
Living Wills only go into effect if you are no longer able to make your own healthcare decisions.
For example, if you suffer serious brain damage in a car accident or suffer an incapacitating stroke, you may be permanently unconscious and unable to communicate with your doctor. In this case, a Living Will lets your physician and family know your wishes concerning certain medical procedures.