Living Will Resources

A guide to religious and secular living will forms, laws, and other spiritual resources for thinking about end-of-life issues.

 
Florida's Terri Schiavo case has highlighted the need to make important end-of-life decisions and discuss your choices with your family before it is too late. Use this guide to find appropriate forms for your state, think about the spiritual issues involved in creating a living will, and find out what your religion says about end-of-life issues.



Planning Forms & Resources
State-by-State Documents
Download the appropriate forms and background information you'll need to complete an advance directive in your state.

Tools for Advance Planning
A Consumer's Tool Kit for Advance Planning from the American Bar Association. Includes questions to ask yourself about your spiritual life to help you prepare an advance directive.

Basic Guide to Health Care Directives
Details the main topics to cover in a health care directive and offers advice on the power of attorney.

Decision-Making Resources
The "Death with Dignity" section of Growth House's website offers information on many end-of-life issues, including palliative nutrition and hydration, pain management, hospice care, withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, and more.

The U.S. Living Will Registry
Electronically stores advance directives and makes them available to health care providers.

Multifaith Resources
Taking a Spiritual Inventory
Bill Moyers' "On Our Own Terms" website offers a list of spiritual questions to ask yourself to help you guide your end-of-life decision-making.

Religious Guidance for End-of-Life Decisions
ElderWeb offers suggested books and other resources for Catholics, Mormons, Jews, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Muslims, and members of the United Church of Christ.

Christian
Advanced Directives for Christians
The Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention published this conservative guide to advance directives and living wills. Explains problems with living wills and interprets them according to biblical principles.

Catholic Declaration on Life and Death
The Florida Catholic Conference provides an advance directive form and background information from a Catholic perspective.

Official Catholic Teaching
Teaching on assited suicide & euthanasia, excerpted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Presbyterian Statement
An overture presented at the Presbyterian Church (USA) 1998 General Assembly, but never formally approved. The statement affirms "the right of self-determination for the terminally ill."

An Evangelical Critique of Advance Directives
From the Journal of Biblical Medical Ethics.

Jewish
Halachic Living Wills
The Jewish Law website compiles halachic (Jewish legal) living will forms for many states.

The Right to Die in Jewish Law
Reviews Jewish law on euthanasia and explains "most rabbinical authorities... have sanctioned the patient's right to decline treatment provided a number of very specific conditions were met."

Understanding Living Wills
Resources from a Jewish nursing home.

Muslim
Writing a Muslim Living Will
Guide for writing a living will from a Muslim perspective.

Islamic Beliefs Affecting Healthcare
Basics of Muslim beliefs about end of life and medical intervention.

Hindu
Living Will Info from the Hindu Heritage Endowment
Basic information about advance directives. Also offers a Hindu contact who can address specific questions.

Hindu Doctors on Euthanasia
Hinduism Today interviewed Hindu swamis and doctors about euthanasia in the Hindu tradition.

Hinduism on Euthanasia
The Hindu view of euthanasia and suicide, from the BBC website.

Buddhist
Buddhism & Euthanasia
The Buddhist view of euthanasia and suicide, from the BBC website.

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