The Alternatives to Missouri Living Wills
For people who want to express health care decisions that are beyond the bounds of Missouri statutes about living wills, there is a possible alternative. This option is also known as "advance directives." The legal declaration contains a patient's desire to withhold or withdraw certain medical treatments prior to suffering from a debilitating condition wherein the ability to communicate is not possible.
In the absence of an advance directive, once a person becomes debilitated, he or she could lose the right to self-determination. Missouri living wills are just a form advance directive, complete with its own benefits and limitations. Nevertheless, latest court cases have made it obvious that any competent person has the right to create other forms of advance directives that go beyond the restrictions of the living will law.
The alternative directives need to be convincing and clear, and may contain instructions with regard to the withdrawal or withholding of artificial nourishment or other life-sustaining measures that could keep the patient in a persistent vegetative state.
The contents of this written and legally binding document may be modified according to the creator's preferences and needs. For instance, it can specify that certain measures may be done for a sensible timetable and then terminated if the expected outcome is not observed.
Know that the creation of advance directives follow certain similar policies as that of Missouri living wills. The documents also need to be signed and dated in the presence of two qualified witnesses in order to make them legal.