Halachic Organ donor Society, 3926 W. Touhy Ave, Suite #365, Lincolnwood, IL, 60712-1028. Phone: 646-599-3895, Email: office@hods.org

Living Will, The

The article deals with the halachic and ethical implications of living wills and health-care proxies.  Both living wills and health-care proxies were created in order to allow some terminally-ill patients the opportunity to refuse certain kinds of medical treatments.  Depending on the state, one, the other, or both, may be available.  A living will gives a specific list of treatments that the patient does or does not want, while a health-care proxy gives broader guidelines as to the patient’s wishes and designates a specific person to make health care decisions.  The article addresses how religious ethicists have responded to these laws, and in particular the responses of the RCA and the Agudah.  The article summarizes some of the key issues in the halachic debate about brain-death as well. The article concludes by dealing with some of the halachic issues posed to doctors by advanced directive legislation.