Living Wills

The Living Will (legally referred to as an Advance Directive) is a document setting out the circumstances under which you would not want to receive life-sustaining medical treatment.  It allows you to state which treatments you would or would not want if you are unable to make the decision yourself, or if you are unable to talk to the doctors about what you want, for example, if you were in a coma.


Nowadays, there are many treatments which offer patients with serious or terminal illnesses the chance to live longer. These treatments include chemotherapy, being fed through a tube, or being kept alive on a life support machine.  However, in some cases, these treatments may offer little, or no chance, of recovery and they may have side effects that could be considered worse than the illness or leave the person in a condition he or she would find unbearable.  You may feel strongly that you do not want to go through this treatment to make you live longer as it may result in a quality of life you would find unacceptable.


The document contains provision for details of your GP, but it is not obligatory to discuss your Living Will in advance with him or her, although it may be helpful to do so.


A great benefit of having a Living Will in place is that your loved ones know your wishes and are not left to make what can be a very difficult decision for them without knowing your feelings.  It can give you peace of mind knowing your wishes won’t be ignored.


Living Wills Blog

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