Would a doctor have to honor my wish to die if I said no to life support in a Will?
I wrote out a Last Will and in it I specifically said if I should be injured or become sick and be put on life support then they should immediately pull the plug. I refuse to continue to endure in such a state when such little hope of a full recovery exists. My organs are just sitting there unused when a 40 year old with my blood type is in desperate need of a new heart or liver.
- HannahLv 51 month agoFavorite Answer
Agree with Morningfox. You need to have it spelled out in a Living Will or an Advance Directive. If you come in to a hospital via an ambulance and/or through the Emergency Department and you’re not conscious enough to make decisions and nobody is with you to make the decisions on your behalf, the hospital isn’t going to take time to track down your will or even see if you have one. If you have an Advance Directive set up (and most patients do before undergoing serious planned medical procedures) the hospital will have easy access to that.
- ZirpLv 71 month ago
that depends on jurisdiction, and on whether your doctor knows your wishes.
Doctors do not have access to your will (=testament)
- MorningfoxLv 71 month ago
Writing this into a Last Will doesn't do the job. You need to put it in a "Living Will", or an "Advance Directive", or a "Do-not-resuscitate order"; doctors will recognize those things. And also, the doctor will not "pull the plug" on a living person, especially if there is any chance you could live for even a few more days. But you could direct them to not use any "extraordinary measures", and not resuscitate you if your heart stops.
Doctors will not do anything active to kill a patient (*), but they will obey an order from you to not do something.
(* except for a few special assisted suicide cases, in a very few places.)
- Pearl LLv 71 month ago
i think they do have to honor that
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- RaymondLv 71 month ago
In most places, no.
In order for society to have confidence in its doctors, we force them to swear that they will do no harm. Letting you die goes against this oath.
Also, in some jurisdictions, criminal law still makes it a crime (murder) for a doctor to "let you die" when there is a way to not let you die. There are other jurisdictions where your clear, enlightened (sober) and legally expressed desire to be unplugged MAY give the doctor a defense in case he is accused of murder for having let you die. There are conditions. They vary from one place to another.
Even in such cases (where it is allowed), a doctor can refuse - he must then pass your case over to another doctor - if there is one willing to go along with your wish.
Also, the Will does not become a binding contract... until you die. Better to let others know about your desire (especially in writing), people such as members of your family or whoever would act on your behalf if you are incapacitated (for example, through a Power of Attorney - in which your desire would be explicitly written).
The law does not stop you from writing about your desire to die. However, in most jurisdictions, the law stops (or restricts) others from helping you (by pulling the plug, for example).