Ohio’s Living Will Law uses several words that have meanings that might be helpful to explain here.
Life-sustaining treatment – any medical procedure, treatment, intervention or other measure that when administered to you serves principally to prolong life.
Hydration – fluids that are artificially or technologically administered through tubes.
Nutrition – refers to food that is artificially or technologically administered through tubes.
Permanently unconscious – to a reasonable degree of medical certainty: (1) you are irreversibly unaware of yourself or your environment; and (2) there is total loss of cerebral cortical functioning – which results in your having no capacity to experience pain or suffering.
Terminal condition – an irreversibly, incurable and untreatable condition caused by disease, illness or injury from which, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty: (1) there can be no recovery; and (2) death is likely to occur within a short period of time if life-sustaining treatment is not administered.
Comfort care – nutrition and /or hydration when administered to diminish pain or discomfort, but not to postpone death; and any other medical care that diminishes pain or discomfort – like pain medication and turning a patient – but does not postpone death.