Linda Emanuel, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School, wrote in her article, "Living Wills Can Help Doctors and Patients Talk bbout Dying," that appeared in the Dec. 2000 issue of the Western Journal of Medicine:

“Moving away from the notion of a legal defense against aggressive physicians, the living will movement realized that it is the process that is the central issue…

Eventually, living wills came to be seen as a vehicle for achieving greater wisdom and skill in a fundamental aspect of health care and a civilized approach to mortality. Advance care planning is a process of discussion, a component of care. Worksheets are for helping reflection and deliberation and for team building between the professionals and families and the patient. Legal documentation has a small but legitimate role. The outcomes are quality experiences for dying persons and for those caring for them. Most people facing terminal illness want to secure dignity, comfort, control, and a chance to leave a purposeful legacy. They do not want to burden their loved ones. Advance care planning with quality care at the end of life can, if done well, provide these things for most people.”

Dec. 2000