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Advance Care Planning

Taking Control of Your Own Body

Advance Directive, or Living Will

Staying in control of your life choices

Every adult with mental capacity has the right to consent to, or refuse, medical treatment. But if you are unconscious or otherwise lose the ability to speak or think for yourself, you potentially lose that right. And your family don’t automatically have the right to speak up for you, no matter how clearly you have explained you wishes to them. This means that medical professionals can decide what’s in your “best interests”, without taking your wishes into account.

The solution is to act, while you are fit and well, to write down your wishes in a formal document, an Advance Directive or Living Will.

In an Advance Directive, you specify what treatment you will and will not consent to if ever you are too unwell to communicate for yourself.

Many people specify in their Advance Directives that: -

  • They want their dignity to be preserved.
  • They do not want treatment designed solely to keep them alive, with no other benefits.
  • The want to be keep comfortable and pain free.
  • They want to receive pain relief even if doing so risks shortening their life.

Your Advance Directive can be used by your family and friends as clear evidence of your wishes, and must be taken into account by medical professionals when deciding what to do for you.

It is often used alongside a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, to give clear instructions about your preferences as to life sustaining treatment, so that your Attorneys are not burdened with trying to guess what your wishes would be if they are ever faced with difficult decisions concerning your care at the end of your life.

Making an Advance Directive costs £150 for a single person and £225 for a couple. 

"As a single person with no dependants I wanted to ensure that in the event of my death my assets would be given to the people that I wanted - Gina sorted it simply and in plain english - that’s a real comfort. Thanks!!"

Traci W

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