Louisiana law states that all persons have the right to control the decisions related to their medical care. That right includes the decision to have life sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn if a person is diagnosed as having a terminal or irreversible illness. The person may make these known through an Advanced Directive or a Medical Power of Attorney.
An Advanced Directive is a document in which a person makes a personal declaration regarding their wishes to have life sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn if their condition is determined by a physician to be terminal and irreversible. This document must be dated, signed, and witnessed by two persons who are not related to the person.
A Medical Power of Attorney is a document in which a person names someone to make decisions regarding their healthcare should they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. This document must also be signed, dated, and witnessed in the same manner. The Medical Power of Attorney needs to be someone other than the Executor of the Financial Estate.