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Living Wills

Why a Living Will?
Recent advances in medical technology now make it possible to artificially keep your body going long after there is any chance of you ever returning to a normal life.
Hospitals, health care officials and doctors will do everything in their power to keep your body functioning because of the legal and ethical problems the would encounter without a clear directive from you or from loved ones you may appoint through a Health Care Proxy.

What can a Living Will Do For You?
A Living Will allows you to clearly state your desire to be disconnected from any machine or have any medical procedure discontinued if your physical or mental condition is so impaired that you are unable to return to a normal life.

A Living Will can help you to:

  • put a peaceful end to your suffering;
  • prevent the emotional turmoil that keeping your body going can inflict on your family;
  • relive those closest to you of a financial burden that could shatter their lives.

A Living Will contains space for you to add any directions or provisions you may want.

What is the Legal Status of Living Wills?
A Living Will protects your interests by asserting your constitutional and common law right to refuse unwanted medical treatment that may unnecessarily prolong your suffering.

In the landmark case of the United States Supreme Court concerning the right to die (Cruzan v. Harmon), the Court recognized the constitutional right of an individual to refuse unwanted medical or life-sustaining treatment. They went on to say that there is a right to refuse treatment only if a patient’s wishes could be established by “clear and convincing evidence.”

Most sates now have laws that allow a competent adult to make his or her wishes known through a Living Will.

In the states that do not as yet have such laws, Living Wills have been upheld and referred to in their court decisions.

A Living Will is the best evidence of your wishes and best protection for the emotional and financial well being of you and your family. Plan ahead.




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This website provides general information. Due to complexities and constant changes in the law, exceptions to general principles of law, and variations of state laws, seek professional legal advice before acting on any matter!

Some of the information on this website only pertains to certain states. Accordingly seek professional legal advice before acting on any matter.