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Living Will

What is a living will?

Family members embracingA written or verbal statement that expresses your wishes regarding the type of medical care you choose to receive, including life-prolonging procedures and treatments, if your doctor and another agreeing doctor find that you have a terminal illness, a persistent vegetative state or an end-stage condition. Your living will must have two witnesses, one of whom cannot be your spouse or blood relative. Your living will does not need to be notarized, but you must sign and date it. If you are unable to sign you can direct someone to sign for you, in your presence. 

What are life-prolonging procedures or treatments?

Procedures or treatments that are not expected to cure your terminal condition, but can artificially delay death. (For example, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or hemodialysis.) 

What is a terminal illness?

A condition caused by injury, disease or illness from which there is no reasonable medical probability of recovery and which, without treatment, can be expected to cause death. 

What is a persistent vegetative state?

A permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is the absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind and/or the inability to communicate or to nteract purposefully with the environment. 

What is an end-stage condition?

An irreversible condition caused by injury, disease or illness that has resulted in progressively severe and permanent deterioration and for which, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, treatment would be ineffective.