In the creation of a living will, the common law states that for as long as the person is competent to determine for himself/herself, he or she possesses the right of self-determination. It basically means that only the person can decide what type of treatment will be done unto him or her. Integrated into the right of self-determination is the right to accept/decline medical intervention.
Courts all over the country have maintained that the advance directives or living will drawn up by an able individual should be respected even when he or she is no longer considered competent. In 1990, the Supreme Court released a definition of what a "competent person" really is. According to the statement, he or she has the autonomy to refuse treatment under the constitution's due process clause.
Although it is common to see advanced directives that attempt to cover a wide range of situations, it is still a better idea to express your health care wishes specifically. You may even spell the words out in the document or plan a small discussion with your health care team about the matter.
The substantiation of both written and verbal proof aids in ensuring that your wishes will actually be carried out. Some examples of common interventions that you should deal with include artificial hydration and nutrition, cardiac resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, pain medications, antibiotics, etc.
Massachusetts living wills possess the same features as that of a standard living will. However, due to the lack of state laws that govern the creation of application of this legal document, certain features may be absent.
Then again, what matters the most is not the add-ons but the typical functions and benefits they offer.