Living Wills Attorney in Cary, North Carolina
What Is a Living Will and How Does It Work?
A Living Will is a legal document signed, notarized, and witnessed by two (2) disinterested competent adults wherein you give directives to your doctor and family about when and how to end life-prolonging measures when you can no longer communicate yourself. North Carolina titles them as "An Advance Directive For A Natural Death".
In 2018, North Carolina updated these laws. Using an updated Living Will document gives you the ability to make personal, intimate decisions about prolonging your life such you become unable to communicate and be on, or need to be on life support. Within the document, you give specific directives, or instructions, to your doctor and your family. These instructions include things like making sure you are always comfortable, clean, and pain-free. The document gives clarity to uncertain and difficult times. Doctors and other medical professionals know their legal duty to follow Living Wills.
A well-known example of the need for an up-to-date "Living Will" is the case of Terri Schiavo (Theresa Marie Schiavo). In 1990, she was a 26-year-old wife and mother who sustained a cardiac arrest. She was successfully resuscitated but had massive brain damage leaving her comatose and later diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state. For several years, she was given many different therapies to improve her condition to no avail. Her husband, who had become her guardian, felt she would not want to live without the hope of recovery. Her parents disagreed. They battled it out in court which became public until 2005 when a court agreed with her husband and allowed her feeding tube to be disconnected, and she shortly thereafter died.
It may seem that Terri Schiavo's case of living artificially for 15 years is extreme, unfortunately, it is not.
Long, expensive artificial life does not have to happen IF you properly execute a "Living Will".