Should you make an Advance Decision?
An Advance Decision is a record of the lifesaving treatment you would refuse in a situation where you no longer have the mental capacity to communicate that refusal yourself.
People make Advance Decisions because they are worried that their wishes might not be known or followed in situations where they require life-saving or life-prolonging treatment.
The Advance Decision is binding on the clinicians responsible for the individual’s care, and can be of real value to loved ones who just aren’t sure what to do for the best.
It is especially important for you to have one if you are in favour of assisted dying, because those responsible for serious medical treatment decisions will continue to feed and treat you while it is considered to be in your best interests.
You’ll have realised by now that people of all ages ought to have an Advance Decision, especially if they do not have a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
More information about Advance Decisions is available here on the NHS website. It is recommended that you seek help with putting your Advance Decision in place – help with coming to the decisions and help in drafting the document. This is because the issues at stake can be quite complex, and it is important to be sure you have considered all the options.
We can help you draft the Decision and come up with a list of issues or questions you may want to discuss with your GP or healthcare provider. This will ensure your Advance Decision is well thought through and constructed to provide for your exact wishes.
It’s worth reviewing your Decision every few years, to make sure that you have taken into consideration any developments in medicine or technology that might impact the choices you have made.
Note: Advance Statement
You may also have heard the term ‘Advance Statement’. This is slightly different, although equally important, and you can read more about it here.
Essentially, it is a record of your wishes for longer term care. It is designed to inform your carers of your likes and dislikes so that they can look after you better. This includes all manner of information, such as your favourite types of music, whether you prefer baths or showers, if you would rather sit in the sunshine or the shade on a warm day, and much more!