Living will

living will is a legal document that lets a person, who may become unable to participate in decisions about their medical care, express their wishes about life-sustaining treatment in advance. It guides the medical team and allows the patient to set limits on what is done to them in certain situations. It’s possible to personalise your living will by including specific statements about the use of medical treatments that may apply to your condition, e.g. cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), mechanical breathing and surgery.

As a living will is a legal document, it has to be prepared with the help of a lawyer. As your health condition changes, it’s important to revisit the decisions that are listed in the living will and make sure that they reflect your current wishes.

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ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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