Statutory Living Will - Advance Directive for Healthcare - Statutory form
ALL REFERENCES ARE TO THE PENNSYLVANIA STATUTES
DECLARATION (Advance Directive for Health Care)
(Chapter 54 - Advance Directive for Health Care Act)
A "declaration" is a written document voluntarily executed by the
declarant in accordance with this chapter.
"Life sustaining treatment" is any medical procedure or intervention
that, when administered to a qualified patient, will serve only to prolong
the process of dying or to maintain the patient in a state of permanent
unconsciousness. Life sustaining treatment includes nutrition and hydration
administered by gastric tube or intravenously or any other artificial or
invasive means if the declaration of a qualified patient specifically provides.
"Permanently unconscious" is a medical condition that has been diagnosed
in accordance with currently accepted medical standards.
A "qualified patient" is a person who has executed a declaration
and who has been determined to be in a terminal condition or to be permanently
A "terminal condition" is an incurable and irreversible medical
condition caused by injury, disease or physical illness which will, in
the opinion of the attending physician, to a reasonable degree of medical
certainty, result in death regardless of the continued application of life
Execution of Declaration
An individual of sound mind who is 18 years of age or older or who
has graduated from high school or has married may execute at any time a
declaration governing the initiation, continuation, withholding or withdrawal
of life sustaining treatment.
The declaration must be signed by the declarant, or by another on
behalf of and at the direction of the declarant, and must be witnessed
by two individuals each of whom is 18 years of age or older. A witness
shall not be the person who signed the declaration on behalf of and at
the direction of the declarant.
A declaration is not required to be in the statutory form and may
include other specific directions, including, but not limited to, the designation
of another person to make the treatment decision for the declarant if the
declarant is incompetent and is determined to be in a terminal condition
or to be permanently unconscious.
A declaration may be revoked at any time and in any manner by the
declarant without regard to the declarant's mental or physical condition.
A revocation is effective upon communication to the attending physician
or other health care provider by the declarant or a witness to the revocation.
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