Florida - Living Will

    I, _________________________ (fill in the blank), being of sound mind and
    body, unequivocally declare that in the event of a catastrophic injury, I do
    not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means. I hereby
    instruct my loved ones and relatives to remove all life-support systems,
    once it has been determined that my brain is NO longer functioning in a
    cognizant realm. However, that judgment should be made only after thorough
    consultation with medical experts; i.e., individuals who actually have been
    trained, educated and certified as doctors. Under no circumstances -- and I
    can't state this too strongly  should my fate be put in the hands of
    peckerwood politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives
    depended on it. Furthermore, it is my firm hope that, when the time comes,
    any discussion about terminating my medical treatment should remain private
    and confidential. Living in Florida, however, I am acutely aware that the
    legislative and executive branches of state government are fond of meddling
    in family matters, and have little concern for the privacy and dignity of
    individuals. Therefore, I wish to make my views on this subject as clear and
    unambiguous as possible. Recognizing that some politicians seem cerebrally
    challenged themselves (and with no medical excuse), I'll try to keep this
    simple and to the point.

    1. While remaining sensitive to the feelings of loved ones who might cling
    to hope for my recovery, let me state that if a reasonable amount of time
    passes -- say, ____ (fill in the blank) months -- and I fail to sit up and
    ask for a cold beer, it should be presumed that I won't ever get better.
    When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my spouse, children
    and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes and call it a
    day.

    2. Under no circumstances shall the members of the Legislature enact a
    special law to keep me on life-support machinery. It is my wish that these
    boneheads mind their own damn business, and pay attention instead to the
    health, education and future of the millions of Floridians who aren't in a
    permanent coma.

    3. Under no circumstances shall the governor of Florida butt into this case
    and order my doctors to put a feeding tube down my throat. I don't care how
    many fundamentalist votes he's trying to scrounge for his brother in
    2004(8?), it is my wish that he plays politics with someone else's life and
    leaves me to die in peace.

    4. I couldn't care less if a hundred religious zealots send e-mails to
    legislators in which they pretend to care about me. I don't know these
    people, and I certainly haven't authorized them to preach and crusade on my
    behalf. They should mind their own business, too.

    5. It is my heartfelt wish to expire quietly and without a public spectacle.
    This is obviously impossible once elected officials become involved. So,
    while recognizing the wrenching emotions that attend the prolonged death of
    a loved one, I hereby instruct my relatives to settle all disagreements
    about my care in private or in the courts, as provided by law.

    If any of my family goes against my wishes and turns my case into a
    political cause, I hereby promise to come back from the grave and make his
    or her existence a living ____ (fill in the blank).