Redhunter on Living Wills

I used to think that the purpose of the "Living Will" was to create a class of people who, having expressly made their wishes against certain forms of life support known, would be allowed to live or die according to the dictates set down in these documents; and that, conversely, the rest of us might reasonably be presumed to want to live. Now that that bit of happy folly has been demolished, we might wonder exactly what a living will is for.

The Redhunter wonders, too:
If you think a living will will take care of you in a Terri Schaivo-type situation think again:

For decades, we have deluded ourselves into believing that living wills would solve our caregiving problems; that healthy individuals could provide advance instructions for what to do if they became incompetent; that such a system would ensure that no one is mistreated and that everyone defines the meaning of life for himself until the very end. But it is now clear that living wills have failed, both practically and morally.

Tom recalls an earlier post in which he argued that "Studies by University of Michigan Professor Carl Schneider and others have shown that living wills rarely make any difference. People with them are likely to get exactly the same treatment as people without them, possibly because doctors and family members ignore the wills. And ignoring them is often the right thing to do ..."