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Do You Have The Right To A Natural Death

Your Rights

You have a basic right to Control The Decisions about your medical care, including the decision to have extraordinary means or artificial nutrition or hydration withheld or withdrawn if your Condition Is Terminal and incurable or if you are in a persistent vegetative state.

If you are competent and Able To Communicate , you may tell your doctor that you do not want extraordinary means or artificial nutrition or hydration used to keep you alive if there is no reasonable hope of recovery.

What happens if you are not competent or able to communicate this decision? You may Decide Ahead of Time with a living will. If you do not have a living will, someone else may have to decide for you.

Legal requirements

You must follow certain requirements to make your living will Legally Effective .

1) You must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind when you sign it.
2) You must express your desire that you do not Want Your Doctor to use extraordinary means or artificial nutrition or hydration to keep you alive if your condition is terminal and incurable or if you are in a persistent vegetative state.
3) You must state that you know your living will allows your doctor to withhold or stop extraordinary medical treatment or artificial nutrition or hydration.
4) You must sign your living will in the presence of Two Qualified Witnesses.
5) Your living will must be certified by either a notary public or clerk of superior court.

Choices in a living will

You must instruct the doctor what you want done if your condition is terminal and incurable or if you are in a persistent Vegetative State You may make these choices in your living will by initialing the appropriate options. If you make no choices, your living will is meaningless. If you make inconsistent choices, your living will is confusing and may not accomplish what you want. Read the choices carefully before initialing to make sure that Your Intentions Are Clear. Your attorney can help you fill out the form correctly.

If your condition is terminal and incurable, your living will may Instruct Your Doctor to do the following:

a) to withhold or stop extraordinary means only, or
b) to withhold or stop both extraordinary means and artificial nutrition or hydration.

If you are in a persistent vegetative state, your living will may instruct your doctor to do the following:

a) to withhold or stop extraordinary means only, or
b) to withhold or stop both extraordinary means and artificial nutrition or hydration.

Executing (signing) a Living Will

You must sign your living will in the presence of two witnesses:

a) who are not related to you or your spouse;
b) who will not inherit property from you, either under your will or under the laws that determine who will get your property if you do not have a will;
c) who are not your doctor, your doctor's employees, or the employees of your hospital, nursing home or group-care home; and
d) who do not have a claim against you.

A notary public or a clerk or assistant clerk of superior court must certify your living will.

Effect of a Living Will

The living will gives your doctor permission to withhold or discontinue life support systems under two conditions.

a) You must be terminally and incurably ill, or
b) you must be diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state.

If two doctors diagnose one of these conditions, your doctor may withhold or discontinue extraordinary medical treatment or artificial nutrition or hydration as directed by your living will.

Definition of terms used in the Living Will

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 sustained, complete loss of self-aware cognition, and you Will Die Soon without the use of extraordinary medical treatment or artificial nutrition or hydration.

Submitted by:

Jeffrey Broobin

Jeffrey Broobin is a free-lance writer on family and finance issues; his main goal is to help people during their complicated period of life. Website: http://www.legalhelpmate.com Email: jeffreyb@legalhelper.ws




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