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 advanced decision to refuse life-sustaining treatment
  • An advance statement setting out which treatments you would or wouldn’t like to receive

Advanced decisions:

  • Have the same effect as a refusal of treatment by a person with capacity
  • The treatment cannot be given – otherwise the doctor might face civil liability or criminal prosecution

To be valid an advance decision must meet these criteria:

  • You have to be 18 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)

Advanced statements in living wills

Your advanced statement could 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.

Please contact us to discuss how a living will can be drafted to meet your particular requirements.

Find out how Nelsons can help you. Contact our friendly team for a guaranteed fast response.

For advice and support 0800 024 1976