Will Emergency Medical Personnel Honor My Living Will, In The Ambulance Or Emergency Room?

Sometimes people who have signed Living Wills are surprised and upset when emergency medical personnel disregard the Living Will and administer life­support anyway. The reason that this may happen is that, in an emergency, the staff may not have time to read the Living Will, to make sure that the patient is in a terminal condition and that it is indeed appropriate to withdraw treatment. If you are already in a terminal condition and feel strongly that you do not want to be given life­support under any circumstances, you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to notify the ambulance service and the emergency room that they should not give life­support and that they should only give you treatment that will ease your pain and keep you comfortable.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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