What Is The Difference Between A Living Will And An Advance Directive?

A living will is a more limited type of advance directive because you only make decisions about life­sustaining procedures in the event that your death from a terminal condition is imminent despite the application of life­sustaining procedures or you are in a persistent vegetative state (permanent unconsciousness). The advance directive provides you with many more options, including the naming of a health care agent. With the advance directive, you can also make decision about life­sustaining procedures in the event of terminal condition, persistent vegetative state AND end­stage condition. If you decide to make decisions about life­sustaining procedures in Part B of the advance directive, you should NOT fill out the living will too.

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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