A “living will” is an instrument that provides for life sustaining procedures to be administered to a person. Pennsylvania was the last state to enact legislation which allowed for a living will when it enacted the Advance Directive for Health Care Act in 1992.
In Pennsylvania, specific meaning is given by the statute that triggers the operation of the living will. Those conditions include the fact that a person must be declared incompetent and is either in a terminal condition or permanent state of unconsciousness. A doctor must certify that a person is in this condition and obtain a second opinion as to those facts. A living will must specifically state clear and convincing evidence of the intention of the patient in regards to refusal of treatment.