Living Wills (Advance Decisions)

What is an Advance Decision?

These are documents often referred to as Living Wills. In basic terms they set out in advance what medical treatment is acceptable to you, should you ever be unable to explain this to the medical team treating you.

Can I demand treatment? Or instruct a doctor to end my life?

In law you cannot make a doctor do something, but you can state in what circumstances you no longer wish to be treated. An Advanced Decision in the UK should not be viewed as a DNR (do not resuscitate), an order common in USA.

In what situation would I want to draw up an Advance Decision?

An Advanced Decision can be useful in a number of cases:

  • If you have strong views about prolonged treatment
  • Have religious convictions that could affect your treatment
  • Have on- going and chronic health issues
  • Have received a specific prognosis

Is an Advance Decision legal?

The law governing Advance Decisions was put in place in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This means that such a document has legal status. We would recommend that a copy be lodged with your family and GP.

If you have any concerns or wish to discuss putting an Advanced Decision in place please contact us.

We can go through your specific concerns in confidence and put in place a document tailored to your needs.