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Living Wills

A ‘living will” is the document by which you express your desires, while you are mentally competent, and you do not want your life extended by artificial means or “life support” when you are in a terminal illness situation. The technical name for this document in South Carolina is “Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death,” but the generic name is “living will.” The key reason that you need a living will is that doctors and hospitals are reluctant to allow you to die (to withhold life support) if you do not have a living will in effect. If it is important to you that you not be kept alive on a ventilator or with the assistance of some other machine, then you need to do a living will as soon as possible.