Ethics and Patient Rights

Rhode Island Instructions for Living Will

Living Will

Rhode Island law suggests a form of living will but does not require its exclusive use. If you decide to sign a living will, you may use the form supplied with these instructions or make your own living will form. A living will is a written document which directs your physician to withhold or stop life-sustaining medical procedures if you develop a terminal condition and can't state your wishes at the time a decision about those kinds of procedures must be made.

If you use this form, please read and follow these instructions carefully.

  1. Print your name in the first line of the form.

  2. Place a check mark in the third paragraph to indicate whether you want artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (food and water) to be stopped or withheld like any other life-sustaining treatment. Remember, if you do not want artificial nutrition and hydration, your living will must say so.

  3. Complete the day, month and year that you sign at the bottom of the form.

  4. Sign your name on the signature line (or if you are unable to do so, have someone do it for you) before two (2) witnesses who know you and are at least 18 years old.

  5. Print your address on the address line.

  6. Have the two (2) witnesses sign their names and print their addresses where indicated below your signature. The witnesses may not be related to you by blood or marriage.

  7. Give a signed copy of your living will to your physician for your medical records.

Remember, you may revoke your living will at any time simply by telling your physician not to follow it.

Online resource

NOTE: This information is provided to make you generally aware of Rhode Island law about living wills and is not intended as legal advice for your particular situation. For legal advice about living wills or your health care rights, you should consult with an attorney.