living will

Pronunciation: (LIH-ving wil)

A type of legal advance directive in which a person describes specific treatment guidelines that are to be followed by health care providers if he or she becomes terminally ill and cannot communicate. A living will usually has instructions about whether to use aggressive medical treatment to keep a person alive (such as CPR, artificial nutrition, use of a respirator).

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

2005-10-24