When preparing living wills, we can discuss your wishes with you and how best to provide for them.
What are they?
A living will can record your wishes with respect to certain medical procedures that are/are not to be employed on loss of mental capacity (“advanced directive”). In the alternative, a living will can record your beliefs (albeit not binding) on such procedures for the family to consider should a difficult decision with regard to your health have to be made (“non-advanced directive”).
Whilst a patient cannot require a doctor to take action in a certain situation and cause their death, a document can be prepared that relates to your wishes/beliefs on a medical decision which would have been within your powers to make had you had the mental capacity to make it. Only wishes in relation to:
- treatment which will ease any suffering but may accelerate an otherwise inevitable death; and
- withholding or withdrawing treatment which may prevent or delay death are allowed to be stated.
To record your wishes with regard to treatment which is intended to cause death or will merely result in death without any beneficial effect, is illegal.