Writing a Will
The Georgia Code defines a living will as a written directive instructing a physician to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining procedures in the event of a terminal condition, a coma, or a persistent vegetative state. Its basic purpose is to protect a patient’s dignity and prevent unnecessary pain and suffering at the end of life. Any person who is of sound mind may execute a living will. (Physical condition is irrelevant, as long as the individual is of sound mind and capable of understanding the document.)
Terms of a Living Will
The Georgia Code contains a form “Living Will,” which will be presumed valid and effective. There are very precise and detailed provisions governing the execution of a living will, the types of witnesses required, and a person’s right to revoke the living will. There are a number of specific requirements in the law governing the conditions under which the life-sustaining procedures may be withheld or withdrawn. Those relying in good faith on the directive are shielded from liability. There are criminal sanctions against persons concealing or forging a living will.