A “Living Will” is a written statement setting out your wishes in relation to medical treatment should you become terminally ill or incapacitated. A Living Will may also be referred to as an “Advance Directive” or an “Advanced Medical Decision”.
A Living Will is not a right to life or a right to die. It can only be used to refuse a treatment – it cannot be used to ask for specific treatment or request a treatment which is unlawful.
The document needs to be a clear statement of the decision and the treatment to be refused. It also needs to clearly set out the circumstances of when it is to apply. The statement should be as detailed as possible.
Living Wills do now have a legal status under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and must be following if applicable to the situation. It is imperative that your GP or Health Care Professional is aware of the existence of the document as there may be criminal consequences if a valid Advance Directive is ignored.
It is important to review your Living Will regularly as treatments change rapidly, to ensure that your Living Will remains valid.
We can help with advice on the preparation of your Living Will so that you can make personal choices in advance regarding the medical treatment you receive going forward.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss Living Wills
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