living will

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Related to living will: living trust, Durable power of attorney

living will


advance health care directive,

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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 and other medical treatment should the person be unable to communicate such wishes due the effects of illness, injury, or another cause of incapacity. 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 follow a specific course of treatment and care, such as discontinuing 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 and many countries 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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See publications of Choice in Dying.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
India's Supreme Court has allowed people to draw up "living wills", meaning they can seek what is known as passive euthanasia, BBC said.
For the analysis, published in the July issue of Health Affairs, researchers reviewed 150 studies published from 2011 to 2016 that reported on the proportion of adults who completed advance directives, focusing on living wills and health care power-of-attorney documents.
Given these costs, shareholders considering the creation of living wills would need to evaluate the savings in financing costs that a good living will was likely to bring about.
"A living will is only utilized if you are too ill to make medical care decisions yourself, and you can revoke yours at any time, both orally and in writing," Barton says.
We developed a new living will with the goal of providing more information and structure for those scenarios outside of comfort care, in particular focusing on the common clinical decisions faced by health care providers and surrogates in the intensive care unit.
Far fewer people make living wills. If more of us did so at a stage in life when we are still in good health and of sound mind, it would take away a lot of the grey areas that surround care of the old and infirm.
In the procedures and registration category, only 7.5% of the nurses knew that the "living will is only valid if the patient is enrolled in the registry of the Department of Health", and only 12.3% knew that a living will can have more than one format.
Living wills reduce the systemic risk of a big bank failing, Dimon said.
The living will hasn't been changed, either verbally or in writing, since it was drawn up.
(77) While each of the other foregoing concerns is important, this Note focuses on concerns related to substantive requirements, with the assumption that these substantive aspects have the greatest impact on the effectiveness of living wills. (78) Specifically, several key substantive issues are addressed: (1) the timing of initial living will submissions; (2) the ability of living wills to supplement insolvency regimes other than bankruptcy; (3) the requirements for smaller and less complex institutions; (4) the economic scenarios under which resolution planning is to occur; and (5) the determination of a "credible" living will.
Health care power of attorneys and living wills are both considered to be advanced health care directives (AHCDs).