Advance Decisions & Statements
It is important to note that any advance decision you make will only be relevant if you are incurable and incapacitated. The relevant paragraph is as follows:
I XX declare that if at any time I suffer from any of the conditions or endure any of the states set out below and I am unable to make, participate in or communicate decisions about my care; and two independent physicians qualified to opine on the relevant issues confirm in writing that I am unlikely to recover from illness, or from lifelong impairment involving severe distress and that it is not in my best interests for any of the treatment set out below to be provided or continued.
Making a Living Will was easy and gave me peace of mindMrs Hilary Rosenthal
An Advance Decision is the legally binding part of a Living Will. It is a process through which you can make choices as to what life sustaining treatments you wish to accept or reject if you become ill and incapacitated. It is legally binding on the medical profession under the mental capacity act 2005. It allows you to express a desire to refuse life-sustaining treatment or resuscitation under certain circumstances.
Create your Living Will & Advance Decision
An Advance Decision made through this website is created for you online. You choose the treatments you would like to accept or reject and in what circumstances, leaving us to create the legally binding document for you. You then print it, sign it, get it witnessed and post it to us at our Freepost address.
We then register your Advance Decision with our database and we give you a UK Living Will Registry Card, which will alert medical professionals to the existence of your Living Will and its contents. We also send copies of your Living Will to whomever you request and provide a set of stickers for your driving licence and other useful places.
When you become a member of the UK Living Will Registry medical professionals and whomever you choose will have access to your Living Wills 24/7. After all what is the point in having a Living Will if no one knows about it?
The Advance Decision that is prepared in this documentation provides you with options for which life-sustaining treatments you would wish to refuse under certain circumstances. Life-sustaining treatment may include artificially enabling you to breathe. Resuscitation may include the restoration of your heartbeat.You may choose to refuse all of them.
An Advance Decision can only be made by someone with capacity and over the age of 18.
In an Advance Decision a person states that if at some future date when he lacks capacity, a healthcare provider intends to give him treatment, then in specific circumstances defined within the Advance Decision, that treatment should be withheld or (if it is already being provided) discontinued.
The Advance Decision does not need to be drafted in a technical way but it must be clear, specific and unambiguous. Anyone who makes an Advance Decision can change or withdraw that decision whilst they have capacity.
An Advance Decision is not valid if the person making it:
• Withdraws it whilst they had capacity
• Has, after making the Advance Decision, created a lasting power of attorney under which they confer authority to someone else to give or refuse the treatment to which the Advance Decision relates
• Has done anything else clearly inconsistent with the Advance Decision remaining his fixed decision
An Advance Decision is inapplicable if at the material time (when the decision about the provision or withholding of treatment is being taken), the person taking the decision has capacity to give or refuse consent to treatment.
An Advance Decision is not applicable to the treatment in question if
- That treatment is not the treatment specified in the Advance Decision;
- The circumstances specified in the Advance Decision are absent;
- There are reasonable grounds for believing that circumstances exist which the person making the Advance Decision did not anticipate when the decision was made and which would have affected his decision had he anticipated them
Once you have made you Living Will you can still revise it at any time either verbally or in writing. The Uk Living Will registry provides an update service for Living Wills so you can change you mind when ever you feel like it.
Because of the legally binding nature of an Advance Decision, and the implications of the decisions it contains, you must ensure an Advance Decision is signed and witnessed. It is important that you have the mental capacity to make an Advance Decision. The person who witnesses your Advance Decision is giving witness to the fact that you have the mental capacity to make such a decision.
You do not need a lawyer to make an Advance Decision or living will. You only need to write down your wishes, sign them and have that signature witnessed.
An Advance Decision is the means through which you can makes choices regarding what life preserving treatments you wish to accept or reject should you become ill and/or incapacitated. It is legally binding on the part of the medical profession, under the Mental Capacity Act of 2005. It expresses a desire to accept or refuse life-preserving treatment or resuscitation under certain circumstances.
Crucially an Advance Decision is you making a decision now rather than leaving the burden to your family at some later , hopefully far away, date.
Because of the legally binding nature of an advance decision, and the implications of the decisions it contains, you must ensure that you advance decision is signed and witnessed. It is also important that you have the mental capacity to make an advance decision and the person who witnesses your advance decision is bearing witness to the fact that you have the mental capacity to make such a decision.
You do not need a lawyer to make an Advance Decision or Living Will. You merely need to write down your wishes, sign them and have that signature witnessed.
Though not an essential part of your Living Will, an advance statement will help all those involved in your care, including Health Care Providers, family and friends, to act in accordance with your wishes, if you should become unable to communicate how you would like to be cared for.
Examples of what you may put in your advance statement include:
• Do you feel strongly that certain individuals should be present, or not be present, during your illness?
• Do you have any strong wishes regarding the nature of your daily nursing and hygiene care?
• Do you have any dietary requirements, whether for religious, ethical or any other reasons?
• Do you have strong feelings about being visited, or not being visited, by representatives from faith organisations, such as hospital chaplains?
• Are there any medical treatments, or surgical interventions, which are not intended to prolong life, which you wish to refuse, such as blood transfusions or amputations?
An advance statement is not legally binding in the way that an advance decision is and you do not have to complete this section of your Living Will if you do not wish to.