living will

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Related to living will: living trust, 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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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 ?
201) If institutions understand the requirements of a credible living will and the potential penalties, they will be prompted to engage in self-regulation, preventing them from becoming too big or too complex.
To avoid this outcome, legal and industry practitioners argued at die conference that the design of the first generation of credible living wills should include certain core elements, such as access to critical counterparty and collateral information, triggers for activating recovery or resolution plans, and a menu of available actions related to capital, liquidity, and the declining value of assets as the weaknesses of the firm become evident.
This section will consider an ethical analysis of the living will according to the first and second formulation of Kant's Categorical Imperative.
Nationwide, a Pew Research Center survey conducted last November found that while public awareness of living wills is now "virtually universal," only 29 percent of adults actually have completed one.
Then came the movement for living wills and other advanced directives that allow people to specify their wishes about end-of-life care while they are competent to express them.
For more information on living wills, or to buy one, visit the website at www.
Like many young people without children, she had not prepared a will, much less a living will.
The bottom line is this: if you are someone who doesn't want medical technology to prolong your last hours, but who also doesn't want to be starved or allowed to die just because you have a disability, your wishes will be far more likely to be respected if you sign a properly prepared Will to Live than if you sign another living will.
A Coventry law firm is backing calls for the introduction of controversial legally-binding living wills.
And, in his opinion, a living will offers at least the chance to safeguard against a lingering and awful decline.
The Indian judges said the right to die with dignity was a fundamental right and that an advance directive by a person in the form of a living will could be approved by the courts.