A Living Will/Advance Directive is NOT a No Code Order or a No Treatment Order. Should you be involved in an emergency situation or have a heart attack, you would still be coded and treated aggressively until you were stabilized and an assessment of your condition could be made. The advance directive takes effect ONLY when you are terminal, or would die in a relatively short time, or are permanently unconscious. In an emergency situation, not even the doctor may know if you are terminal. In any situation, only the physician with your consent or your proxy/family’s consent can write a medical order which gives a No Code Order to stop treatment. The PURPOSE of an advance directive is to make your wishes known so that a good decision can be made by your doctor and family as to when to stop certain treatments. The advance directive is not a medical order of any kind.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified estate planning lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local estate planning attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.