The Louisiana Living Will Declaration Concerning Life Sustaining Procedures

Adults in Louisiana have the fundamental right to control their medical care decisions, including the decision to have life sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn when diagnosed as having a terminal and irreversible condition.

Most living wills are written and signed in the presence of two witnesses. There is a procedure in our Louisiana law where someone can can make an oral or nonverbal declaration subsequent to a diagnosis of a terminal and irreversible condition.

Most living wills in Louisiana, including the illustrative form provided in our living will law, provide that the Declarant initial whether they want nutrition and hydration to be withheld or withdrawn, once they are in that terminal and irreversible condition.

Note that there are many definitions in our Louisiana Living Will law, including but not limited to definitions of "attending physician," "life sustaining procedure," "terminal and irreversible condition," and "witness."

In the absence of a valid living will, then the following individuals, in the following order of priority, may make a declaration on your behalf:

(1) Court appointed Curator;
(2) Someone you designated in the proper written instrument;
(3) Spouse;
(4) Adult Child or Children;
(5) Parents;
(6) SIblings.

The key here is to education yourself, make an informed decision, document that decision, discuss it with your family or loved ones. I find that many people want to relieve their family from the stress of being forced to make a decision to terminate life - even when there appears no chance of recovery.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read on this site. Using this site or communicating with Rabalais Estate Planning, LLC, through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship.

Paul Rabalais
Louisiana Estate Planning Attorney
www.RabalaisEstatePlanning.com
Phone: (225) 329-2450