Living Wills – end of life planning.
Would you allow someone to plan your wedding or choose where you holiday ? I believe in planning. I do also think there are many advantages in planning for the end of life too.
It may sound morbid and also way in the future (we hope) but no one really knows what is around the corner.
A living Will also known as an advance directive allows for us to make our wishes for our end of life care to be known whilst we still have the Mental Capacity to do so. If we are admitting to hospital unconscious following an accident, no one would know our wishes. This may suggest that we should carry a copy of this on us at all times, perhaps condensed onto a small card.
A living will usually provides specific directives about the course of treatment that is to be followed by health care providers and caregivers. In some cases a living will may forbid the use of various kinds of burdensome medical treatment.
It may also be used to express wishes about the use or foregoing of food and water, if supplied via tubes or other medical devices.
The living will is used only if the individual has become unable to give informed consent or refusal due to incapacity. A living will can be very specific or very general.
An example of a statement sometimes found in a living will is: “If I suffer an incurable, irreversible illness, disease, or condition and my attending physician determines that my condition is terminal, I direct that life-sustaining measures that would serve only to prolong my dying be withheld or discontinued.”
In June 2010, the Wealth Management Solicitors, Moore Blatch, announced that research showed demand for Living Wills had trebled in the two years previous, indicating the rising level of people concerned about the way in which their terminal illness will be managed. According to the British Government, every adult with mental capacity has the right to agree to or refuse medical treatment.
In order to make their advance wishes clear, people can use a living will, which can include general statements about wishes however they are not legally binding.
Age Uk has a link on their website where you can download a fact sheet relating to a Living Will .