Living wills (or "health care directives") are legal documents that detail an individual's medical care and end-of-life preferences in the event that they are unable to provide informed consent. Living wills also may state one's after-death wishes, such as tissue donation and preference for burial or cremation. Most commonly, though living wills are used to clarify whether you want to be kept alive through artificial means, such as respirators and breathing tubes.
Nebraska Living Will Laws at a Glance
The main provisions of Nebraska's living will law are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Living Wills Basics section for more articles.
|Code Section||20-401, et seq. Rights of the Terminally Ill Act|
|Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts||Any medical procedure or intervention that will serve only to prolong the process of dying or maintain the patient in a persistent vegetative act, meaning that to a reasonable degree of medical certainty one has a total and irreversible loss of consciousness and capacity for cognitive interaction with the environment with no reasonable hope of improvement. Does not affect physician's responsibility to provide treatment, including nutrition and hydration for patient's comfort care or alleviation of pain. Life-sustaining treatment shall be provided if declarant is pregnant and fetus is likely to develop to the point of live birth with continued application of life-sustaining treatment|
|Legal Requirements for Valid Living Will||(1) Adult of sound mind; (2) signed by declarant or another at declarant's direction; (3) witnessed by 2 adults or notary public (adult is one who is over 19 yrs. or is or has been married); (4) communicated to attending physician; (5) patient in terminal condition, persistent vegetative state, or unable to make decisions regarding administration of life-sustaining treatment (sample form §20-404)|
|Revocation of Living Will||Revocable at any time in any manner without regard to declarant's mental or physical condition effective upon communication to physician or other health care provider. Revocation shall become part of declarant's medical record.|
|Validity from State-to-State||Declaration executed in another state in compliance with that state or Nebraska is valid|
|If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney||Physician shall take all prompt and reasonable steps to transfer to a willing physician|
|Immunity for Attending Physician||Not subject to civil, criminal, or professional discipline in the absence of knowledge of revocation or whose action under this Act is in accord with reasonable medical standards. Unjustifiable violation of patient's directions shall be a civil cause of action maintainable by patient or patient's next officer|
Note: State laws are constantly changing. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a Nebraska living wills attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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