Is there any allowance, under current law, for a person, to make as part of and Advance Medical Directive, a desire to have

Asked almost 2 years ago - Bremerton, WA

their life ENDED, should they become a Advanced Alzheimers, or a combative dementia patient? I cannot afford to pay for an answer....

Attorney answers (4)

  1. 5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. "Any provision in a contract, will, or other agreement, whether written or oral, to the extent the provision would affect whether a person may make or rescind a request for medication to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner, is not valid." RCW 70.245.160

    To qualify for the Death with Dignity act, a person must have a terminal disease (death <6 mos) and make an informed decision at the time the prescription is made; a patient with cognitive impairments would not be able to do that. You can read more here:

    Avvo answers are attorney opinions offered for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal... more
  2. 3

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    Answered . You must have full mental capacity for the Death with Dignity Act.

    This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client... more
  3. 3

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    Answered . Yes and no. The rules vary by state but generally an individual can direct (or authorize another to direct) that life support be withdrawn or withheld in certain circumstances and let nature take its course but that won't normally authorize active measures to terminate life. Some states permit physician assisted suicide in limited cases but probably not through an advance directive alone.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law... more
  4. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As Attorney Forrest points out, the lack of cognitive ability would preclude making a decision to have life "ENDED." It is however possible to refuse treatments that would otherwise prolong life such as artificial hydration and feeding, antibiotics, etc., if certain conditions are met. It would be a matter of letting nature take its course.

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