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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.

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