Living Wills – General – Indiana
A “life prolonging procedure” is any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention that does the following:
(1) Uses mechanical or other artificial means to sustain, restore, or supplant a vital function.
(2) Serves to prolong the dying process.
“Life prolonging procedure” does not include the performance or provision of any medical procedure or medication necessary to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.
A “life prolonging procedures will declarant” means a person who has executed a life prolonging procedures will declaration under §16-36-4-11.
A “living will declarant” is a person who has executed a living will declaration under §16-36-4-10.
A “qualified patient” is a patient who has been certified as a qualified patient under §16-36-4-13.
A “terminal condition” is a condition caused by injury, disease, or illness from which, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty there can be no recovery and death will occur from the terminal condition within a short period of time without the provision of life prolonging procedures.
A person who is of sound mind and is at least eighteen years of age may execute a life prolonging procedures will declaration under §16-36-4-11 or a living will declaration under §16-36-4-10.
A life prolonging procedures will declaration under or a living will declaration must meet the following conditions:
(1) Be voluntary.
(2) Be in writing.
(3) Be signed by the person making the declaration or by another person in the declarant’s presence and at the declarant’s express direction.
(4) Be dated.
(5) Be signed in the presence of at least two competent witnesses who are at least eighteen years of age.
A witness to a living will declaration cannot:
(1) Be the person who signed the declaration on behalf of and at the direction of the declarant.
(2) Be a parent, spouse, or child of the declarant.
(3) Be entitled to any part of the declarant’s estate whether the declarant dies testate or intestate, including whether the witness could take from the declarant’s estate if the declarant’s will is declared invalid.
(4) Be directly financially responsible for the declarant’s medical care.
The living will declaration of a person diagnosed as pregnant has no effect during the person’s pregnancy.
A declaration must be substantially in the form set forth in either §16-36-4-11 or §16-36-4-10. The invalidity of any additional, specific directions does not affect the validity of the declaration.
Indiana Code Section 16-36-4-12:
(a) A living will declaration or a life prolonging procedures will declaration may be revoked at any time by the declarant by any of the following:
(1) A signed, dated writing.
(2) Physical cancellation or destruction of the declaration by the declarant or another in the declarant’s presence and at the declarant’s direction.
(3) An oral expression of intent to revoke.
(b) A revocation is effective when communicated to the attending physician.
(c) No civil or criminal liability is imposed upon a person for failure to act upon a revocation unless the person had actual knowledge of the revocation.
(d) The revocation of a life prolonging procedures will declaration is not evidence that the declarant desires to have life prolonging procedures withheld or withdrawn.
If the qualified patient who executed a living will declaration is incompetent at the time of the decision to withhold or withdraw life prolonging procedures, a properly executed living will declaration is presumed to be valid.
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