Living Will Declaration
A "Living Will" is actually a written declaration by an individual that he or she does not want certain medical procedures utilized to keep him or her alive under certain specified conditions. The Nevada statute that applies to these types of declarations allows an individual to commit to writing his or her desire to have life-prolonging measures withheld or withdrawn when the application of such procedures would serve only to prolong artificially the process of dying. The Nevada Legislature essentially gave us five standardized yes/no questions to answer in expressing our wishes. One must either agree or disagree with each statement. The language of the questions are sometimes a little confusing, however this language is mandated by the state legislature and unless they change it, this is what we have to work with. The five statements are:
- I desire that my life be prolonged to the greatest extent possible, without regard to my condition, the chances I have for recovery or long—term survival, or the cost of the procedures.
- If I am in a coma which my doctors have reasonably concluded is irreversible, I desire that life-sustaining or prolonging treatments not be used. (Also should utilize provisions of NRS 449.535 to 449.690, inclusive, if this subparagraph is initialed.)
- If I have an incurable or terminal condition or illness and no reasonable hope of long—term recovery or survival, I desire that life sustaining or prolonging treatments not be used. (Also should utilize provisions of NRS 449.535 to 449.690, inclusive, if this subparagraph is initialed.)
- Withholding or withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration may result in death by starvation or dehydration. I want to receive or continue receiving artificial nutrition and hydration by way of the gastro-intestinal tract after all other treatment is withheld.
- I do not desire treatment to be provided and/or continued if the burdens of the treatment outweigh the expected benefits. My attorney-in-fact is to consider the relief of suffering, the preservation or restoration of functioning, and the quality as well as the extent of the possible extension of my life.
Each person should consider the options available to them and have a Living Will prepared by an estate planning attorney that implements the individual's desires concerning the utilization of life-prolonging procedures when he or she is unable to vocalize his or her intentions in this regard.
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