What is an Advance Decision or Living Will?

Advance Decisions – which also go by the name of advance directives or living wills are the only legal way to state in advance decisions about your future medical care should you lack capacity to make your views clear.

Don’t leave your choice of medical treatment to chance.

Without an Advanced Decision…

  • You may not be able to convey your wishes to hospital staff verbally and so, any medical treatment you receive will be decided upon by the medical profession.
  • Your friends and relatives may not be fully aware of your wishes.
  • Only an Advanced decision / Living Will is legally binding.

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 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. If you have made an advance decision refusing treatment and the decision is valid and applicable to the circumstances, medical professionals providing your care are legally bound to follow your advance decision.

For more information on making an advance decision to refuse medical treatment download the free fact sheet on advance decisions or get in touch with us.

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