Living will

A living will is one form of advance medical directive. Advance medical directives pertain to treatment preferences and the designation of a surrogate decision-maker in the event that a person should become unable to make medical decisions on their own behalf. Advance directives generally fall into three categories: living will, power of attorney and health care proxy. LIVING WILL: This is a written document that specifies what types of medical treatment are desired. A living will can be very specific or very general. The most common statement in a living will is to the effect that: If I suffer an incurable, irreversible illness, disease, or condition and my attending physician determines that my condition is terminal, I direct that life-sustaining measures that would serve only to prolong my dying be withheld or discontinued. More specific living wills may include information regarding an individual’s desire for such services such as analgesia (pain relief), antibiotics, hydration, feeding, and the use of ventilators or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. HEALTH CARE PROXY: This is a legal document in which an individual designates another person to make health care decisions if he or she is rendered incapable of making their wishes known. The health care proxy has, in essence, the same rights to request or refuse treatment that the individual would have if capable of making and communicating decisions. DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY: This is the third type of advance directive. Individuals may draft legal documents providing power of attorney to others in the case of incapacitating medical condition. The durable power of attorney allows an individual to make bank transactions, sign Social Security checks, apply for disability, or simply write checks to pay the utility bill while an individual is medically incapacitated.

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living will n a document in which the signer requests to be allowed to die rather than be kept alive by artificial means in the event of becoming disabled beyond a reasonable expectation of recovery see ADVANCE DIRECTIVE

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a statement signed by a person that outlines the degree of life-saving treatment desired in case of incapacitation. It enables terminally ill patients to refuse resuscitation in the event of cardiac arrest.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • living will — liv·ing will n: a document in which the signer indicates preferences or directions for the administration and esp. the withdrawal or withholding of life sustaining medical treatment in the event of terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness… …   Law dictionary

  • living will — living wills N COUNT A living will is a document in which you say what medical or legal decisions you want people to make for you if you become too ill to make these decisions yourself …   English dictionary

  • living will — liv ing will A document signed by an individual expressing his/her desire that, in the event of an illness from which there is no reasonable expectation of recovery, aggressive or extraordinary measures to prolong life, such as resuscitation and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • living will — n a document explaining what medical or legal decisions someone should make if you become so ill that you cannot make those decisions yourself …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • living will — noun count a legal document in which you state the decisions about your medical treatment that you want other people to make, to be used if you become too sick to make those decisions yourself …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • living will — ► NOUN ▪ a written statement detailing a person s desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent …   English terms dictionary

  • living will — ☆ living will n. a document, legal in some states, directing that all measures to support life be ended if the signer should be dying of an incurable condition …   English World dictionary

  • living will — A document specifying the kind of medical care a person wants or does not want in the event of terminal illness or incapacity. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * living will living will ➔ will1 * * * living will UK US noun [C] ► LAW a written… …   Financial and business terms

  • living will — noun a document written by someone still legally capable requesting that he should be allowed to die if subsequently severely disabled or suffering terminal illness after he discovered he had AIDS he drew up a living will • Topics: ↑law,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Living Will — A legal document that sets out the medical care an individual, or the principal, wants or does not want in the event that he or she becomes incapable of communicating his or her wishes. A living will is used by people whose wishes will be met… …   Investment dictionary

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