living will

January 2005
Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary;2005, p1261
Reference Entry
A definition of the term living will is presented. The term refers to an advance directive, prepared when an individual is alive, competent, and able to make decisions, regarding that person's specific instructions about end-of-life care. Living wills allow people to specify whether they would want to be intubated, ventilated, treated with pressor drugs, shocked with electricity (to stop lifethreatening heart rhythms), and fed or hydrated intravenously (if unable to take food or drink). Some also specify the person or persons who have power of attorney to make health care decisions on the patient's behalf, if the patient is no longer competent to make choices for himself or herself. The definition is from the "Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary," published by F.A. Davis Co.


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