Living Will Laws in Connecticut

November 30, 2020
Living Will Laws in Connecticut

In Connecticut, the word "living will" refers to a written declaration specifying the health care needs of an individual regarding the provision or withholding of life support. It comes under Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 368W: Removal of Life Support Systems. 

It is a type of advance directive in which you state your wishes about care and treatment you want or don’t want if you are no longer able to speak for yourself. Normally, living will address one’s preferences about end-of-life medical treatments, but they can also communicate your wishes, values, or goals about any other aspect of your care and treatment.

Here are a few things you should know about creating and executing a Living Will in CT. 

Specific Powers and Life-Prolonging Acts

The health care provider may consent, deny or withdraw consent to any other medical treatment for a patient than the medical treatment intended solely for the physical comfort of a patient. But these laws do not apply to a pregnant woman, at least until the child is born or dies.

Legal Requirements for Living Will

Connecticut law specifies that you can use whatever form you like as long as the living will is substantially in the statutory form. However, any form that is used must be signed, dated, and witnessed by two persons to be legitimate. Moreover, since Connecticut health care providers are more familiar with the statutory form of Connecticut, if the statutory form of Connecticut is used, there is less risk of misunderstanding your wishes. It is therefore recommended that you obtain the advice of an attorney and carry out the execution of the living will and selection of a health care representative in the presence of an attorney in order to prevent your living will being declared invalid. 

The Validity of Living Wills Created in the Other States

Out-of-state health care advance directives are valid as long as they are validly established on the basis of the laws in the state they were created or by Connecticut law, as long as they do not contradict public policy in Connecticut.

Physician’s Willingness

If the attending doctor is unable to comply with the patient's wishes to withdraw life support, then he or she will take all appropriate action as soon as possible to shift the patient to a doctor who can do what the patient needs.

Immunity for Attending Physician

A physician who withholds or removes a seriously ill patient's life-support device would not be civilly or criminally responsible if the decision is:

  • Based on the best medical judgment from the doctor.
  • The wishes of the patient were considered in accordance with the legal document.

The creation of the end-of-life planning documents can be uncomfortable but it is a good plan and also a peace-of-mind gift to your family members that survive you. At difficult times making these decisions for a loved one is not easy, but if you are clear about it in your living will, your loved one

All people are equal before the law. A good attorney.