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Advanced Health Care Directive

What is an Advanced Health Care Directive / Living Will?

An Advanced Health Care Directive (or Living Will) is a document that sets out your preferences for medical treatment.

Commonly, it will;

  • Set out limitations on treatment you wish to have, although it may indicate that you wish to have full measures to prolong life
  • Stipulate medical treatment preferences, including those influenced by religious or other values and beliefs
  • Identify circumstances unacceptable to you arising from applying life-sustaining treatment such as artificial respiration
  • Identify how far treatment should go when your condition is ‘terminal’, ‘incurable’ or ‘irreversible’ (depending on terminology used in specific forms)
  • Nominate a ‘person responsible’ who consults with doctors concerning your wishes when you can’t
  • Include other non-medical aspects of care that are important to you during your care.

Every competent adult has a legal right to accept or refuse medical treatment.

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