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Why You May Need a

Living Will

A Living Will (a “declaration”) is a document that allows you to limit what life-sustaining procedures, if any, you will be subjected to in the event that you have a terminal and irreversible condition, which is defined as a continual profound comatose state (with no reasonable chance of recovery) or an incurable condition caused by injury, disease, or illness for which, within reasonable judgment, the administration of medical treatment or intervention would only prolong the dying process. Your doctor, and one other doctor, must examine you and certify that you have a terminal and irreversible condition before your Living Will goes into effect.

 

The statutory form of this document, in Louisiana, is very simple. It allows you to request NO life-sustaining procedures (no cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, no ventilator) including no artificial nutrition and hydration (feeding tube), or ONLY a feeding tube, but no other measures. Any measure which is necessary for comfort would still be available to you. Wake's form provides a few more options. For an even more detailed document, you can work with a Louisiana attorney or notary public to customize your declaration.

 

A Living Will is NOT the same as a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, which is entered in your medical record by your physician at your request, and only covers emergency resuscitation for cardiac or respiratory arrest. 

Download a Living Will form below, and/or the accompanying INSTRUCTIONS document, and bring it to a Wake legal clinic or to any Louisiana notary to make it official!

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