A Living Will may also be called a Declaration, Living Will Declaration, Health Care Declaration, Health Care Directive, Advance Health Care Directive, Health Care Proxy and others. Sometime you will see the form named Statutory Living Will or Statutory Health Care Directive.
A document authorized by statutes in all states in which a person appoints someone as his/her proxy or representative to make decisions on maintaining extraordinary life-support if the person becomes too ill, is in a coma or is certain to die.
In most states the basic language has been developed by medical associations or other experts and may provide various choices as to when such maintenance of life can be terminated. The decision must be made in consultation with the patient's doctor. The living will permits a terminal patient to die in dignity and protects the physician or hospital from liability for withdrawing or limiting life support.