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According to a national survey done by the Pew Research Center, almost everybody in America knows of the existence of “Living Wills” — particularly since the Terri Schiavo case in Florida in March of last year.

But (Pew found) only 29 percent of adults had actually signed an Advance Directive for health care (Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, etc)

Such documents are by no means iron-clad protection against an undesirable dying, but they do help in some cases — such as that Terri was in.

If you haven’t got an Advance Directive yet, get one for your state at http://www.nhpco.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4415

Also — most important — get your old ‘Living Will’ out of your files, dust it off, check if it is still pertinent to your wishes, SIGN IT AGAIN, and DATE IT. Let nobody claim that you had changed your mind.

Derek Humphry, Oregon.

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