Living wills are written declarations instructing your family and doctor about life-prolonging medical procedures when your condition is terminal and there is no chance of medical recovery. Under constitutional and common law, patients have the right to refuse medical treatment.
A living will gives you the opportunity to express your wishes in advance, since you may not be able to make them known when it becomes necessary to do so. Life-prolonging procedures include the use of machines if you cannot breathe on your own, performing operations or prescribing antibiotics that cannot realistically increase the chances of recovery, starting your heart mechanically when it stopped beating, or feeding by tube.
You can specify that the only treatment rendered be for the relief of pain.
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