Living Wills Should Include Specific Instructions
Yesterday a client brought in a copy of this New Times Article by Jane Brody: Medical Due Diligence: A Living Will Should Spell Out the Specifics. As an elderly man, he was concerned that his wishes might not be respected under his North Carolina statutory living will. He was right to be concerned. North Carolina’s standard form, entitled Declaration of a Desire for a Natural Death, contains only statements that “extraordinary means” for keeping one alive are not desired and allows a choice as to whether artificial nutrition and hydration should be withheld or discontinued. There are no provisions for more detailed instructions. In my opinion, the state should revise the form to allow much more specificity. Many states have such forms.