Making decisions about your future care
The law relating to a Living Will permits you – if you lose mental capacity in the future – to make:
- A binding advance decision to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment; and/or
- An advance statement setting out which treatments you would or wouldn’t like to receive.
Advance decisions in a Living Will
An advance decision has the same effect as a refusal of treatment by a person with capacity. Essentially, the treatment cannot be given – otherwise the doctor might face civil liability or criminal prosecution.
To be valid an advance decision must meet the following criteria:
- You have to be 18 years old or over and have the mental capacity to make it.
- You need to specify the treatment to be refused.
- You must specify the circumstances in which your refusal would apply.
- You must state that the decision stands even if your life is at risk.
- You must not have been under the influence or harassment from another party when making the decision.
- The decision must not have been modified (verbally or in writing) since it was made.
- It must be in writing and be signed and witnessed (it can be signed by someone else at your direction).
Advance statements in a Living Will
An advance statement can include:
- Treatment you would be happy to have, and in what circumstances.
- Treatment you would want, in any circumstances.
- Treatment you would prefer not to have, and in what circumstances.
- Someone you would like to be consulted about your treatment when a decision needs to be made.
You need to allow for the possibility that new drugs or treatments may be introduced in the future.
To discuss how a Living Will can be drafted to meet your particular requirements, please contact a member of our expert Wills, Trusts and Probate team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online enquiry form
"Nelsons Solicitors Limited has an extensive offering, with practitioners having experience of trust administration, Court of Protection work, investment management, wills and probate."Legal 500
"Always courteous, friendly but professional staff."Client Feedback
"Very professional and efficient."Client Feedback
"There is excellent communication with all members of the team. If one is off then always someone to help."Client Feedback
"The team is friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. They have always answered queries promptly."Client Feedback