Louisiana Supreme Court rules nursing home needs to withhold food, water from resident

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The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled that a family may withhold food and water from an 89-year-old comatose woman in a nursing home because she chose it in her will, according to the Associated Press. Doris Smith suffered massive brain damage from a stroke in March and is on a feeding tube.

One of Smith's daughters, Oris Pettis, fought the action in three courts, saying her mother did not know the details of refusing "life-sustaining procedures," including food and water, when she signed it. Therefore, the state was euthanizing her mother against her wishes, Pettis said. She said doctors told her that her mother faces a grueling death.

Two of Smith's other children argue their mother was fully cognizant of what she was signing. 

The document Smith signed was nearly identical to the typical living will set forth in state law. This version has reportedly been adopted by thousands of Louisiana residents.

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