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A living will in Maryland: Balancing life saving technology

Important paperwork is often most easily completed without time pressure or demands. An open ended schedule allows the person who is preparing it to carefully consider possible ramifications of their choices as they devise the document. A living will and related documents are more necessary than ever in Maryland as technology allows the possibility for prolonged life. For people who engage in dangerous work, it is even more important that they have the necessary paperwork.

Paramedics do not take the same risks on the job that firefighters do, but their profession is somewhat more risky than a typical desk job. In addition, paramedics are exposed to end of life and related issues more frequently than the typical person. The head of one of the paramedics association found himself speaking to these issues, but then realized he himself did not have a will.

In the field, paramedics often ask about whether people have living wills so that they may determine the level of care they can legally give. Many paramedics may risk their lives in their jobs, as do other first responders such as police officers and firefighters. Still, many of them do not have living wills in place to protect their interests and make it easier for themselves and their families to make decisions if something bad happens.

Putting a living will in place may be important to everyone. Anything can happen at any time, from a vehicular accident to a fall down a flight of stairs. Most people in Maryland are likely to be happier with a solution they come up with themselves and write out in a living will so that it is legally protected, rather than the solution that others reach for them in an emergency setting.

Source:, "Pittsburgh, Pa. Responders Prepare For Worse With Living Wills," Adam Randolph, March 10, 2013

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