living will

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Related to Advance directive: Durable power of attorney

living will,

legal document in which a person expresses in advance his or her wishes concerning the use of artificial life supportartificial life support,
systems that use medical technology to aid, support, or replace a vital function of the body that has been seriously damaged. Such techniques include artificial pacemakers, internal defibrillators, dialysis machines (see kidney, artificial), and
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, to be referred to should the person be unable to communicate such wishes at the end of life. A living will usually goes into effect only when two physicians certify that a patient is unable to make medical decisions and that the patient's medical circumstances are within the guidelines specified by the state's living-will law. Typically, living wills are used to direct loved ones and doctors to discontinue life-sustaining measures such as intravenous feeding, mechanical respirators, or cardiopulmonary resuscitationcardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR), emergency procedure used to treat victims of cardiac and respiratory arrest. CPR can be done in a hospital with drugs and special equipment or as a first-aid technique.
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 that the patient would reject were he or she able. Without clear and convincing evidence of a person's wishes (such as a living will), life support may be continued indefinitely because of hospital policies, fear of liability, or a doctor's moral beliefs, even if the family believes the patient's wishes would be otherwise. Living wills are often used in conjunction with a health-care proxyhealth-care proxy,
legal document in which a person assigns to another person, usually called an agent or proxy, the authority to make medical decisions in case of incapacitation. It is, in essence, a power of attorney for health care.
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, which authorizes a previously chosen person to make health-care decisions in the event of incapacity. Most states have legislation authorizing living wills. See also euthanasiaeuthanasia
, either painlessly putting to death or failing to prevent death from natural causes in cases of terminal illness or irreversible coma. The term comes from the Greek expression for "good death.
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.

Bibliography

See publications of Choice in Dying.

living will

a document stating that if its author becomes terminally ill, his or her life should not be prolonged by artificial means, such as a life-support machine
References in periodicals archive ?
The results of this study suggest that an awareness of one's beliefs and values is integral to engaging in advance directive discussions.
Advance directives protect individual rights and cost little or nothing to carry out.
Advance directives in an intensive care unit: Experiences and recommendations of critical care nurses and physicians.
These results suggest that "the clinical effect of advance directives is critically dependent on the context in which a patient receives care" they noted.
Consistency of psychiatric crisis care with advance directive instructions.
Brudney is not the first to delineate conceptual and ethical differences between treatment choices in advance directives and choices inferred from an incapacitated patient's previous beliefs and values.
Any written or spoken instruction that a person makes about wishes for end-of-life treatment is to be considered an advance directive.
This process begins by formulating a health and care plan (formally known as the advance directive, which the NP develops within 30 days of a resident's nursing home admission).
The purpose of this descriptive study was multifold: to provide more information about social service involvement in advance directive discussions on admission and to assess the degree of consistency between social services staff attitudes about medical interventions and positions taken by dementia and palliative care experts.
us, Making Choices provides information on end-of-life choices, how to create an advance directive, and resources to contact with questions regarding advance directive decisions.
The application then saves an image of the document and flags the patient's EMR showing the presence of an advance directive.
As for wanting to live in a persistent vegetative state, depending on technology for my next meal or even my next breath, I for one have an Advance Directive which would prevent those interventions.

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