Every adult with mental capacity has the right to agree or refuse medical treatment.
You can prepare a Living Will to set out your wishes regarding health care and how you would like to be treated in the event that you became seriously ill and unable to communicate your own views.
Advantages of Living Wills
• They respect your human rights, in particular your right to reject medical treatment.
• Creating a Living Will encourages full discussion about end of life decisions.
• Knowing what you want means doctors will be more likely to give appropriate treatment.
• Your friends and family will not have to make difficult decisions on your behalf.
Disadvantages of Living Wills
• They are not legally binding. However the medical profession have agreed to take them into account when deciding a particular course of action.
• A Living Will is only a REFUSAL of treatment and not an insistence for certain treatment. If you wished to have someone to request certain treatments on your behalf, you should create a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.
A Living Will cannot be used under the following circumstances:
• Illegal requests under such as euthanasia or assistance to commit suicide.
• Demand any care that considered inappropriate in your case.
• Refuse the offer or food and drink by mouth.
• Refuse measures solely to maintain your comfort such as pain relief, warmth and/or basic nursing care.
You should consider reviewing your Living Will on a regular basis. It is important that the people providing your medical treatment are confident that you have not changed your mind as new and improved treatments become available all the time.
We offer Free Will & LPA Reviews and operate a Free First Advice service.