Will to Live or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
The concept of the Living Will was introduced in 1967 by the Euthanasia Education Council (now called Choice in Dying) as a means of promoting discussion of euthanasia. The idea of the Living Will gained in popularity especially in light of ever-increasing court cases involving questions of whether or not to remove "life support" from people who could no longer indicate their wishes. People often sign Living Wills out of fear of being hooked up against their will to machines and tubes. In 1990 the Federal Government passed the Patient Self-Determination Act that requires medical facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds to offer people the opportunity to sign a Living Will. A simple document like the Living Will can lead to assisted suicide or euthanasia.
Better than a Living Will is a Will to Live statement or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. We recommend the following resources:
(SOURCE: The Basics On Advance Directives available from LFL, Item #807B)