Health Care Directive

Health Care Directive (a/k/a “Living Will”)

A Health Care Directive is a statement of your intent that if you are in either a permanent unconscious condition or terminal condition then you do not want to be kept alive on artificial life support equipment. In Washington State, the Health Care Directive (formerly known as “Directive to Physician” and on the street often referred to as a “Living Will”) has been codified by the Legislature but which can be varied to address certain situations. The statutory definitions for the above-conditions are noted below.

A permanent unconscious condition (is defined as an incurable and irreversible condition in which one is medically assessed within reasonable medical judgment as having no reasonable probability of recovery from an irreversible coma or a persistent vegetative state). A terminal condition (is defined as an incurable and irreversible condition caused by injury, disease, or illness, that would within reasonable medical judgment cause death within a reasonable period of time in accordance with accepted medical standards, and where the application of life-sustaining treatment would serve only to prolong the process of dying).

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