What is a living Will?
When you are ill you can usually discuss treatment options with your Doctor and then jointly reach a decision about your future care.
However, you may be admitted to hospital when unconscious, or become unable on a temporary or permanent basis to make your own decisions about your treatment, or communicate your wishes. This may happen for example, if you have a car accident, a stroke, or develop dementia.
To use the technical term- You would ‘lack mental capacity’ to make an informed decision and/or communicate your wishes. In such situations, Doctors have a legal and ethical obligation to act in your best interests. One exception to this is if you have made an Advance Decision refusing treatment. If this decision is valid and applicable to the circumstances, medical professionals providing your care are duty bound to follow it.
The term ‘Living Will’ could be used to refer to an Advance Decision/Directive or an Advance Statement. An Advance decision is a decision to refuse treatment; an advance Statement is any other decision about how you would like to be treated.
ONLY an Advance Decision is legally binding, but an Advance Statement should be taken into account when deciding what is in your best interest.
You may wish to make an Advance Decision if you have strong feelings about a particular situation that could arise in the future. This might relate to having a limb amputated following an accident or having a blood transfusion. More commonly, you may have been told that you have a terminal illness or form of Dementia. You may wish to prepare an Advance Decision indicating the type of treatment you would not want to receive in the future.
Making an Advance Decision may give you the peace of mind in knowing your wishes should not be ignored if your unable to take part in the decision making process at the relevant time.
We will supply an Advance Decision Directive to you FREE OF CHARGE. Please click on the ENQUIRE NOW button and complete your details. If you require further information please do not hesitate to contact us.