A living will is a document which allows you to retain control over whether your life will be prolonged by certain medical procedures if you are diagnosed as being terminal and incurable or in a persistent vegetative state (i.e., a sustained complete loss of self-awareness). It is a simple declaration of the desire for a natural death. A living will allows you to authorize the withholding of extraordinary means of medical treatment (for example, respirator care) and, at your option, also may authorize the withholding or discontinuance of artificial nutrition or hydration. You may make different choices as to the level of care to be withheld or discontinued depending upon whether your medical condition is terminal and incurable or you are in a persistent vegetative state.
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