Issues Regarding “Life Sustaining Treatment”

A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions (also known as a “Living Will”) authorizes your agent to make decisions about your care when you are unable to do so.  One of the most important sections of this form pertains to the ability to withdraw “life-sustaining treatment”.

Many people think this phrase pertains to organ replacement and don’t recognize that it also includes artificial nutrition (food) and hydration (water). In Nevada the statutes pertaining to these topics prescribes sample language to be used. The choices available to a person include the expression of a desire to be removed from life-sustaining treatment unless doing so would result in death and/or dehydration.

Obviously, such a death contemplates a painful parting.  However, you should be aware of a specialty known as “hospice care” or “palliative care”.  This type of care is practiced by a medical specialist whose goal is the relief of suffering when further medical treatment is futile or not wanted. Hospice physicians play an important role in understanding the consequences of the implementation of a person’s choices regarding life-sustaining treatment.

Although these issues are incredibly difficult and emotional, it is extremely important to discuss these issues with your physician.

Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.