What is the difference between a living will and a medical power of attorney? The living will, which is really a dying decoration, authorizes direct that life support be discontinued in the event of three different circumstances. One is if you have a terminal condition, two, if you have an end state’s condition, and three, if you have a permanent vegetative state. This is when you’re unconscious and you’re laying there on a ventilator. The medical community or your doctors make the determination if you have one of those three conditions and then they turn to who you designate and ask permission or direction to discontinue life support. A medical power of attorney, also known as a designation of a healthcare surrogate is not whenever you’re dying. It is whenever you may need medical treatment and you designate who you’d like to make that decision. It further authorize the release of your medical information or a HIPAA waiver. And so that is the difference. One is to keep you alive and authorize medical procedure and allow someone to access your medical records, whereas a living will or a dying declaration covers whenever you are in the twilight of your life and doesn’t look like you’re going to recover. So if you have any questions, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.