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For Immediate Release
May 30, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

CURRAN UNVEILS IMPROVED LIVING WILL FORM

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., today announced that a new, user-friendly advance directive form is available to the public. The suggested form was in legislation, Senate Bill 369, supported by Attorney General Curran and sponsored by Senator Paula Hollinger.

Curran had urged that the Health Care Decisions Act, Maryland’s basic law on end-of-life decision making, offer a simplified, more user-friendly form. This new form lets Marylanders select their preferred decision maker (called a health care agent) to act for them once they cannot make their own decisions, state their preferences about medical interventions in dire circumstances (often called a living will), or both. One innovative feature of the new form is that those who state their treatment preferences in a living will can say whether they want it to be strictly binding on their health care agent or to be guidance that can be applied flexibly.

When the Health Care Decisions Act became law in 1993, it included an optional set of forms. But, Curran said, these forms were too legalistic, had some confusing parts, and did not contain much help for people to understand the effect of what they write.

The new form is now available on the Attorney General Internet home page by visiting www.oag.state.md.us and clicking on "Advance Directive/Living Will." A copy can also be requested by phone: 410-576-7000.

Curran states that the new form is optional. All existing advance directives are still valid.

***Developing an advance directive with family members was one of the
American Medical Association’s top resolution suggestions for 2006.***

   

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