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.