A living will is a document in which a person expresses his or her desire to be kept alive by way of artificial nutrition, life support, etc. after the person has sustained a substantial and irreversible loss of mental functioning. While a bit callous, many think of this document as the “pull the plug document.”
While a living will most certainly expresses a person’s desire to continue to receive or to discontinue receiving life support, etc., the living will can also express a person’s specific desires in certain other life threatening medical circumstances.
The living will should always be provided to a person’s health care agent under a health care proxy so that that the health care agent fully understands the medical wishes and preferences of the person executing the health care proxy and living will.