2(b). Old forms still valid; uncertainty
about tube feeding
Old forms that were valid when executed are still valid. If a Living
Will from another state or an old Alabama form fails to specifically
allow for withholding or withdrawing tube feeding, however, the
Alabama statute requires that tube feeding must be provided. It
is not clear what would happen if this issue were taken to the courts.
The United States Supreme Court, the American Medical Association
and the new Alabama statute define artificial nutrition and hydration
as medical treatments, but the old law was silent on the issue.
Based on the United States Supreme Court decision in the Cruzan
case, the final determination might depend on whether there was
"clear and convincing evidence" of the patient's wishes
about that particular issue.
Since no one wants to be the test case,
it is strongly recommended that anyone
able to execute one of the new Directives
do so, if it is important to you that
you not be subjected to tube feeding if
it can only prolong the dying process.