Illinois Living Will Act

Illinois Living Will Act was enacted by the legislature in recognition of the right of an individual to make a written declaration instructing his or her physician to withhold or withdraw death delaying procedures in the event of a terminal condition.  Executing an advanced directive, such as a Living Will, is an integral component of any well considered estate plan.

A “death delaying procedure” is defined as any medical procedure or intervention which, when applied to a qualifed patient and in the judgement of the attending physician would serve only to postpone the moment of death.   The procedure could be assisted ventilation, kidney dialysis, intravenous medication, assisted feeding or hydration, and blood transfusions.

The act notes, however, that supplemental nutrition and hydration should not be withdrawn or withheld, if the withdrawal or withholding would result in the patient’s death soley from starvation or dehydration, as opposed as from the existing terminal condition.

According to the Illinois Living Will Act, a “qualified patient” is defined as a patient who has executed a Living Will declaration in accordance with the Act, and who has been diagnosed (and verified in writing) with a terminal condition by his or her attending physician.

A “terminal condition” is one which is incurable and irreversible, and such that death is imminent, with the administration of death delaying procedures serving only to prolong the process of dying.

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