A living will gives your doctor permission to withdraw or even withhold life support systems under certain conditions. Filling out a living will form will declare that you desire to die a natural death, and that you do not want extraordinary medical treatment nor do you want hydration used to keep you alive if there is no hope for recovery.
Each and every one of us has what is called “patient’s rights”, as a patient you have the basic right to control the decisions about your medical care and treatment. This includes the right to declare to never be given artificial life support.If you are not competent or able to communicate you no longer have patient rights and the doctor will make your medical decisions for you. If you fill out a living will form before you become incapacitated you can designate some one to make decisions for you and write any decisions you`ve made about your medical treatment. For a living will form to be legally effective you must meet 3 requirements. The first requirement is you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind when you sign it. The second requirement is your living will must contain specific statements. The third is you must sign your living will in front of two qualified witnesses then get it signed by either a notary public or the clerk of superior court. The two witnesses are not allowed to be related to you or your spouse, they can not be people who will inherit property from you, you can not get your doctor or his/her fellow employee’s to sign it, and you can not have some one with a claim against you to sign it. How you store your document is by putting the original copy in a safe place you can access, and giving every appropriate person who needs to know about your living will a copy.
Definitions:Artificial nutrition or hydration describes the use of feeding tubes or other invasive means to give someone food or water.
Extraordinary means or medical treatment includes any medical procedure which artificially postpones the moment of death by supporting or replacing a vital bodily function.
You are considered to be in a persistent vegetative – state if you have had a complete loss of self-aware cognition, and you will die soon without the use of extraordinary medical treatment or artificial nutrition or hydration.