New Jersey has made an important decision affecting the quality of life for its citizens by enacting legislation that gives adults control over their medical treatment through Living Wills. The "New Jersey Advance Directives for Health Care Act" provides individuals with a choice, allowing them to specify whether they wish to have or refuse certain medical treatments and life-sustaining measures. It also gives competent adults (18 and older) the right to appoint a trusted friend or relative to make medical decisions for them, if they lose the ability to decide for themselves. An individual may change or revoke his or her Advance Directive (Living Will) at any time. The legislation sets out the rights and duties of patients, families and caregivers, freeing them from some of the legal, emotional and financial uncertainties of dealing with terminal illness, mental incompetence and medical conditions resulting in permanent unconsciousness. New Jersey was the 48th state to give legal recognition to Living Wills.
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