At what point is a person removed from life support when no living will is present?

Without a living will, the removal of life support is typically a matter of medical judgment that the chance of a recovery is remote. There is no hard and fast rule or defining number of days for when such a determination is made.

Without a living will and healthcare power of attorney, the usually a “close family member” can approve the removal of life support from a patient in a state of permanent unconsciousness without court approval and without a written advanced healthcare declaration, as long as at least two doctors qualified to evaluate the patient’s condition first certify in writing that the individual is in a permanent vegetative state. This is called the “substituted judgment rule.”  The close family member would generally be the wife, then children.


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All content is for informational purposes only. It is also only intended to relate to Mississippi Estate Planning Law.  If other states are mentioned, they are mentioned as an example only. No legal advice is provided in this content. Laws change so you need to check for any updates by current laws in Mississippi.