How to make a living will UK? To answer that question you might first need to think about what a Living Will, which is also known as an ‘advance decision’, is. A Living Will allows you to express your wishes concerning medical treatment and decisions in the future.
It’s more commonly known as a Living Will, and it’s essentially creating documents that allow you to say how you’d like to be treated should you lose the ability to make your own decisions in future.
It’s relevant for both health and social care matters, and it consists of an advance decision to refuse treatment and an advance statement of your wishes.
How To Make A Living Will UK
First thing’s first, you should discuss your decision with a healthcare professional who is aware of your medical history.
That way, if there’s any risks or benefits to refusing particular treatments in the future, you’ll be able to weigh them up before coming to your decision.
It’s also advisable to speak to friends and family before you act, too. That way they’re aware of your wishes, and if they’ve got any questions about scenarios or about what everything means, then they can ask at the time.
It’s prudent to have a Living Will in writing so that you can ensure your wishes are adhered to as you intended.
Should I Speak To Anyone Else?
It’s worthwhile making your GP and medical team aware of your Living Will so that they can include it in your medical notes, simplifying the process in the future.
You should also make a note to regularly review your Living Will so that you can amend it based on any changes to your circumstances, and you MUST communicate these changes with your friends, family, and GP.
Crucially, should you wish to refuse potentially life-saving or life-sustaining treatment, your decision must be witnessed, signed, dated, and in writing. It must also include the statement ‘even if life is at risk as a result’.
The reality is that this is a complex decision to make, and you might not know what to do for the best.
Because of the significant legal ramifications of your Living Will for you and your loved ones, it’s wise to seek legal advice about setting up a Living Will.
What do I need to know?
A Living Will has to adhere to particular rules if you wish to include the refusal of treatment.
A Living Will:
- Cannot be used to ask for your life to be ended
- Cannot be used to request specific treatment
- Must be clear about the circumstances in which you would NOT want to receive the treatment you’ve mentioned
- Should specify whether you want to receive the treatment mentioned, even if it could result in your death
Your advance statement portion of your Living Will should include information on several aspects, such as your dietary requirements, where you’d like to be cared for (should that be a hospice, care home, or at home), and who you want to be consulted about your care.
You could also include more personal details such as the foods you like, what sort of clothes you prefer to wear, the music you like, your bedtime and morning routines, and your religious beliefs.
The wording in your Living Will must be carefully considered to avoid any misunderstandings in situations that could result in the end of your life.
By putting your Living Will in your own words with context to you personally with the help of a legal professional, you’ll ensure that your wishes are fulfilled when the time comes.
And if you’re finding it hard to communicate your wishes, you should consider speaking to a legal expert to see what your options are – it might be much simpler than you realise.
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