Advance decisions (living wills)

An Advance Decision, commonly referred to as a Living Will, is a statement you can make during your lifetime about the medical treatment you may or may not wish to receive. The terms of the Advance Decision come into effect during your lifetime if you lack the capacity to make such decisions.

An Advance Decision can be in oral form with supporting evidence, but this may result in ambiguity about your wishes. It is therefore always advisable to have a written Advance Decision to ensure clarity in this respect.

If the Advance Decision includes a refusal of life-sustaining treatment, it must always be in writing.

It is also possible to sign a health and welfare lasting power of attorney appointing a friend or relative to make decisions relating to your health and welfare in the event of future mental incapacity.

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