Living Will

Charleston Health Care Directives | Living WillA living will is one of the most commonly employed health care directives for a person to deny medical treatment. The South Carolina legislature approved the use of living wills, also called advance directives, in the Death with Dignity Act, which states in part:

” If at any time I have a condition certified to be a terminal condition by two physicians who have personally examined me, one of whom is my attending physician, and the physicians have determined that my death could occur within a reasonably short period of time without the use of life-sustaining procedures or if the physicians certify that I am in a state of permanent unconsciousness and where the application of life-sustaining procedures would serve only to prolong the dying process, I direct that the procedures be withheld or withdrawn, and that I be permitted to die naturally with only the administration of medication or the performance of any medical procedure necessary to Provide me with comfort care.”

It is important to note that the living will does not forfeit medical treatment in the event of incapacity rather it ensures that a person, who is professionally determined to die within a reasonably short time, will not receive disorderly treatment that violates the incapacitated body. End of life decisions can be traumatic for any family and the living will helps to alleviate this burden by creating legal reassurance for a graceful passing after all reasonable medical options have been explored.

Living wills are one of the simplest health care directives and provide peace of mind that loved ones will be treated with dignity in the event of an end of life medical case.