If an individual records a video of DNR wishes or POA and posts this video to social media, is this considered a legal form of documentation?

Would a doctor be required to follow the wishes of an individual who made a video of themselves requesting refusal of life support? Would a written post be able to hold the same weight as a video if posted on these types of media? Would this video/posting be held as legally binding as a signed and notarized document?

Asked on December 10, 2015 under Estate Planning, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, a doctor would not be required to follow a video or a written post. To be effective, a "living will" (as it's commonly called; it's better called, however, an "advance health care directive") must be correctly written (using the right language & terminology), executed, witnessed, and notarized as required by your state. The technicalities are critical--getting the details wrong can invalidate the document. Someone wanting to provide such directions should let an attorney draw it up for him/her.

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