University of Pittsburgh

Alan Meisel on the Benefits of Appointing a "Health-care Agent" as an Alternative to a Living Will

Publish Date/Time: 
June 11, 2012

Professor Alan Meisel is quoted in an article in the Wall Street Journal that explores the difficulties that persons in potential end-of-life situations may face, even when they have living wills.  Living wills give guidance for clear situations, but lack the flexibility that is needed for family members to act in more nuanced circumstances.  According to the article, Professor Meisel says that a "health-care agent—a trusted family member, for instance—could supplant the need for a living will. Under the legal doctrine of 'substituted judgment,' health-care agents must try to make the decision you would if you could."


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