What is a ‘Living Will’?
A Living Will, sometimes referred to as an advance directive or advance decision, is a decision often by way of a legal document, which a person can create, to refuse the giving or continuing specific medical treatment if they have lost capacity.
The main requirements for making a living will are:-
- You must be over the age of 18 years old
- You must be of sound mind to make the decision
Living Wills have recently made the headlines, in an unfortunate case where the Living Will was misplaced and the decision-maker was fed artificially for 22 months, against their wishes.
When making a Living Will, careful consideration should be given to the contents of the document, as decisions can only be made in regards to the treatments mentioned.
A Living Will is legally binding, even if it might lead to death, explicitly stating “even if life is at risk as a result”.
Such a document is useful to healthcare professionals and the relatives of the decision-maker, to understand their wishes in regards to life sustaining treatment.
Abigail Wells, a Trainee Legal Executive at Thursfields Solicitors stated “When making a Living Will it is important to discuss the matter with your general practitioner and seek legal advice to understand the effects of the decision.”
Having a Living Will in place means that it is more likely the decision-maker’s wishes in relation to their future medical treatment shall be followed.
For further information, please contact: Abigail Wells, Trainee Legal Executive, on 0121 227 3850 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org