An Advance Decision (also known as a Living Will) is a statement of instructions relating to what medical and healthcare treatment you want to refuse in the future in case you lose the capacity to make these decisions.
Advance Decisions are governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
An Advance Decision will only be implemented when the person making it has lost capacity. Until that point, the person concerned retains the ability to make decisions as situations arise.
An Advance Decision can only deal with the refusal of specified medical treatment in certain defined circumstances. It cannot require your medical team give you specified treatment, and it cannot give someone else the right to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
You can appoint someone to make medical decisions for you by entering into a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney which will give your chosen attorneys power to make decisions concerning medical treatment and other personal welfare decisions. You can sign both an Advance Decision and a Health and Care Power of Attorney should you wish to do so.
Here at Ames Kent, we believe strongly that everyone has the right to sign an Advance Decision, if they so desire. We therefore offer (free) Advance Decision packs to all clients who attend the office to discuss Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney (whether or not we are instructed to act).
We are also able to witness your signature on your Advance Decision for no charge.