A North Dakota Living Will is a document that allows an individual, referred to as a Declarant, to declare their healthcare wishes and appoint an Advocate to act as their representative if they ever fall into an incapacitated or terminally ill condition. This document allows a person to make sure that their wishes are being followed even when they cannot speak for themselves. For example, the Declarant may outline in their living will that they refuse all forms of life support. Whether or not a doctor agrees, he or she will have to abide by this request or transfer the Declarant to the care of another doctor. In North Dakota, all living will documents must conform to Chapter 23 of the North Dakota Revised Statutes. These statutes allow a person to use a living will to dictate which life-prolonging procedures they consent to and which procedures and treatments they refuse as long as at the time of creation, the Principal is a legal adult with the mental capacity to make sound decisions. Additionally, these statutes require all living will documents to be signed by two (2) unrelated adults and to be substantially in the same form as the living will document described in Chapter 23.
A North Dakota Living Will can be completed fairly quickly with just a few pieces of information. The first step that the Declarant will take to complete their living will be to provide their own information. This will consist of their full name, address, gender, and telephone number. Next, the Declarant will identify their Advocate by providing his or her full name, address, phone number. The next section of the living will detail the Principal's healthcare consents. This section will go into detail on specific treatments that the Declarant consents to and which types he or she refuses. Once all of the Declarant's wishes have been recorded, he or she will then sign and date the document in the presence of two (2) witnesses.