Healthcare directives or "living wills," as they're most commonly called, are legally binding documents that state an individual's preferences for medical treatment if they become incapable of communicating these preferences. For example, someone who does not want to be kept alive through an artificial respirator can state this in their living will, which physicians and individuals with power of attorney must follow. Georgia living will laws also excuse physicians acting in accordance with a living will from liability.
Learn more about Georgia living will laws in the chart below. See Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Wills for more details.
|Code Section||31-32-1, et seq.|
|Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts||Any medical procedures or interventions which would serve only to prolong the dying process for a patient in a terminal condition, a coma, or persistent vegetative state with no reasonable expectation of regaining consciousness or cognitive function; may include the provision of nourishment and hydration but shall not include medication or any medical procedure to alleviate pain|
|Legal Requirements for Valid Living Will||(1) Competent; (2) adult; (3) signed by declarant; (4) in presence of 2 competent adults not related to declarant; (5) any declaration constituting declarant's intent shall be honored regardless of the form or when executed|
|Revocation of Living Will||Revocable at any time by declarant without regard to mental state or competency by (1) destruction of document; (2) declarant signs and dates a written revocation expressing intent to revoke; (3) any verbal or nonverbal expression by declarant of intent to revoke which clearly revokes the living will as opposed to a will relating to the disposition of property after death|
|Validity from State-to-State||Any declaration regardless of form which constitutes declarant's intent shall be honored|
|If Physician Unwilling to Follow Living Will||Advise promptly the next of kin or guardian and at their election make a good faith attempt to effect a transfer or permit the next of kin or guardian to obtain complying physician|
|Immunity for Attending Physician||No physician acting in good faith in accordance with the requirements of this chapter shall be subject to any civil liability, guilty of any criminal act, or unprofessional conduct|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Georgia estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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