Things to know: What is Living Will? How it works?

Sakshi Chaturvedi

Sakshi ChaturvediBy Sakshi Chaturvedi

Published on 9 March 2018 10:18 AM GMT

Things to know: What is Living Will? How it works?
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Things to know: What is Living Will? How it works?
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Friday, made a historic decision, in which a person has the right to die with dignity and can make an advance living will authorising the withdrawal of life support system if in medical view he has reached an irreversible stage of terminal illness.

Now, here comes a question what is Living Will? How it works? How is it difference from Health care Proxy?

ALSO READ: Supreme Court allows ‘living will’ of terminally ill persons

Below are the explanations of all the questions...

WHAT IS LIVING WILL?

It is a document made by a person, when he is in a conscious condition, in which he expresses his desire to be allowed to die instead of being kept alive on a life support system if he is suffering from a terminal illness.

It may be worth mentioning that every state provides the drafting of a living bill. Some states call the document a medical directive or a health care proxy.

While some states let you prepare a detailed and a customized living will and others ask you to fill out a systamised form.

What is included in LIVING WILL?

  • Medical procedures that are common in life threatening disease such as resuscitation via electric shock, ventilation and dialysis.
  • Person can also opt for the one of the above procedures or none of them.
  • You may also express your desire to donate your organs and tissues after death.
  • If you refuse life-sustaining care, you can express your desire to receive pain medication throughout your last few hours of your life.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEALTH CARE PROXY AND A LIVING WILL

Health care proxy is a document in which a patient appoints a person to make a legal healthcare decisions on behalf of the patient when he or she is not on the state to execute the healthcare decisions. While Living Will permits you to list medical treatments that you would or would not want if you became terminally ill and unable to make your own decisions.

Here are the Countries with END-OF-LIFE laws

Netherlands

The Netherlands have the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act

Belgium

An Euthanasia-Law, which permits and regulates the ending of life by physicians on request by the individual who wishes to end life.

US-State of Oregon

The Death with Dignity Act came into force, a law regulating physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients who have a life-expectancy of not more than 6 months.

US-State of California

It allow physicians assisted suicide for terminally ill – the End of Life Option Act. Thus, California becomes a further US-State in which terminally ill have freedom of choice to self-determinedly end their suffering with physician’s assessment and prescription of medication.

Canada

Canada’s Supreme Court has struck down the country’s Criminal Code laws prohibiting physician-assisted suicide.

Taiwan

Taiwan passed the Patient Autonomy Act on 18 December 2015, making it the first Asian country to allow patients under five specific clinical conditions to refuse life-sustaining treatments including artificial nutrition and hydration even if they are not terminally ill.

Sakshi Chaturvedi

Sakshi Chaturvedi

A journalist, presently working as a Sub-Editor at newstrack.com.

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