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What ensued was a years-long legal battle that involved dozens of judges in numerous jurisdictions, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and Congress. Schiavo's feeding tube was ordered removed in 2005. About two weeks later, she died.
Each state has its own forms for proxies and living wills, said Brandt. And while it's a legal document, she said, you don't need an attorney to draft one. The forms need to be witnessed, but that's it. She advises giving copies to plenty of people -- family, friends, colleagues -- so a person's wishes are well-known.
For baby boomer William Walsh in Petersburg, Va., drafting a living will hasn't crossed his mind.
"I just haven't really thought about it to tell you the truth," said Walsh, 61. "You always think something is going to happen to the other guy, not you."
Walsh said no one in his family has ever needed one, but also said he might give the idea more thought.
The AP-LifeGoesStrong.com poll was conducted June 3-12 by Knowledge Networks of Palo Alto, Calif., and involved online interviews with 1,416 adults, including 1,078 baby boomers. The margin of sampling error for results from the boomers is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
Knowledge Networks used traditional telephone and mail sampling methods to randomly recruit respondents. People selected who had no Internet access were given it for free.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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