Five Wishes: A Living Will

June 10, 2015 / Michael M. Siegel, MD

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It’s one of the hardest things to talk about, and one of the most important: If you lose the ability to make decisions about your health, what do you want your loved ones to do?

Figuring out your wishes now will give you some control down the line. It ensures that you’ll be treated the way you want. And it protects everyone who cares about you from the added stress of trying to guess your preferences.

Luckily, there are several workbooks and documents that help us make these choices and get them in writing. One is Voicing My Choices, for terminally ill adolescents and young adults. Another is Five Wishes, a living will for everyone 18 and up. It details a person’s medical preferences as well as personal, emotional and spiritual needs.

With Five Wishes, you choose:

  • The person you want to make care decisions for you when you can’t
  • The kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want
  • How comfortable you want to be
  • How you want people to treat you
  • What you want your loved ones to know


How does it work?

Depending on the document, it can be as simple as filling out a form and having it properly signed – Five Wishes works this way. All you have to do is check boxes, circle directions or write a few sentences. And when completed, Five Wishes is valid under the laws of most states.

At Molina Healthcare, we recommend that everyone complete and file a living will. It’s an important way to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

If you’d like more information about Five Wishes, you can find it here. To read the Voicing my Choices guide, click here.

Category: Seniors