The doctor or other health care provider who cannot honor your wishes must then help transfer you to another health care provider will-ing to carry out your directives – if they are the kind of directives which Pennsylvania recognizesas valid.14.Is a “living will” effective when I’m pregnant?Pennsylvania law generally does not permit a doctor or other health care provider to honorthe “living will” of a pregnant woman who hasdirected that she not be kept alive. The terms of such a “living will” may be honored, however, if the woman’s doctor determines that life-sustaining treatment (1) will not maintain the woman in a manner that will 4
allow for the continued development and birth of the unborn child, (2) will physically harm the pregnant woman, or (3) causeher pain which could not be relieved bymedication.If your “living will” is not honored because you are pregnant, the Commonwealth must pay all of the usual, customary and reason-able expenses of your care.15.What if I change my mind after I have written a“living will?”Pennsylvania’s “living will” law states that you may revoke a “living will” at any time and in any manner. All you must do is tell your doctor or other health care provider that you are revoking it. Someone who saw or who heard you revoke your “living will” may also tell your doctor or other health careprovider about the revocation. You can also change or rewrite your “living will.” If you change your mind after have written on your instructions, you should destroy your written instructions revoke them and write new ones. You should also consider telling everyone who participated in your decision making process that you have changed your mind and give a copy of any new instructions to your doctor, health care provider, and anyone else who had a copy of your old instructions.Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care16.What is a “Durable Power of Attorney” forhealth care?A “Durable Power of Attorney” for healthcare is a document which allows you (the “principal”) to name another person (the “attorney in fact”) to make certain medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. The person you choose as your “attorney in fact” does not have to be a lawyer. The law says that the “attorney in fact” can:(1)Authorize your admission to a medical, nursing, residential or other facility;(2)Enter into agreements for your care, and(3)Authorize medical and surgical procedures.The power to “authorize medical and surgical proce-dures” means that your “attorney-in-fact” may arrange for,and consent to medical, therapeutic, and surgical proce-dures for you, including the administration of drugs.