A Kentucky Living Will, also known as a Kentucky Advance Directive is a document that allows a person, referred to as a Principal or Declarant, to declare their healthcare wishes and appoint an Agent to act as their representative if they ever fall into a medical state where they are unable to make healthcare decisions for themselves. This document allows a person to ensure that they will have a representative that they trust making decisions in their best interest, but a living will also allows them to specifically state which life-prolonging treatments and procedures they will consent to and which procedures they will not consent to. For example, the Principal may state that they will consent to procedures such as blood transfusions and MRIs but will not consent to CPR and feeding/hydration tubes. In Kentucky, all living will documents must conform to Chapter 311 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes (.621-.643) which states that a person may use a living will to dictate which life-prolonging procedures they consent to and which procedures and treatments they are withholding consent from as long as at the time of creation, the Principal is a legal adult with the mental capacity to make decisions. In addition, the document must be signed by two (2) unrelated adults, and must be substantially in the same form as the living will document described in Section 311.625
A living will is a document that requires specific detail to ensure that your exact wishes are followed when you cannot speak for yourself. If information is omitted or is unclear, it will be left to your appointed advocate to make a medical decision on your behalf. The first piece of information that you will need to provide is your full name, your address, your gender, and a reliable contact number. Next, you will appoint your Advocate. This is the person who will be your voice when you cannot speak for yourself. You can appoint this individual by providing their first and last name, their address, and their phone number. Appointing an alternate Advocate is recommended because the primary Advocate may not be available or contactable if an unexpected health issue arises. An alternate Advocate can by appointed by providing their name, address, and telephone number. Next, you will go into detail about what procedures you will and will not consent to. This section will also collect information on any anatomical donations, as well as your primary care physician. Once all of this information has been provided, you may sign your living will in the presence of two witnesses who are of no relation to you. Once you have signed and dated the document, your witnesses will sign as well.