HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Rising Interest in Living Wills Reported

There's a good article in today's New York Times about the rising post-Schiavo interest in living wills, both on the part of folks who want to be sure that life-sustaining treatments aren't employed beyond a certain point and on the part of those who want to get the full metal jacket approach, as well as many others in between.  The problems inherent in living wills (inability to draft a document that is expansive enough or detailed enough to cover all contingencies) is alluded to in the article's comparison of living wills vs. medical powers of attorney.  Angela Fagerlin and Carl Schneider fairly trashed living wills in their article in the Hastings Center Report last year, and -- even though I am not persuaded that livings wills don't do more good than harm for most patients most of the time -- their views are worth considering, too.  The Boston Globe had a good article on the Fagerlin/Schneider position earlier this year (Drake Bennett, "Are Living Wills the Answer?, April 3).  [tm]

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