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LIVING WILLS


Our solicitors are specialists in drafting living wills.

'Living Wills' are more accurately described as advance decisions on stopping life-prolonging treatment.

With the advance of medical science there is even greater potential for individuals to be "kept alive" without any real prospect of them being able to live for themselves at any time in the future.

A living will could cover the patient's wishes in such a difficult situation. The medical profession do not know whether any document that is passed to them as the patient's wishes, is legally binding on them.

Where incompetent or unconscious patients have made a formal and specific statement applicable to the circumstances, doctors should regard it as potentially legally binding.

The current view of the courts is that, subject to a number of important limitations and conditions an advance refusal of treatment may be enforceable, provided it can be clearly established that the patient understood the result of refusing treatment, and was capable of making such a decision, and the decision applies to the treatment in question.

Until the Government give statutory backing to living wills, they will remain under utilised.

Rules regarding a living will:

Document needs to be clear and concise; Consider the types of treatment that you would not like to undergo and try to give your reasons; Consider appointing a medical proxy, who can deal with decisions about medical care on your behalf; Get the document witnessed by two people, who, preferably will not benefit after your death; Keep the original living will with your ordinary will, but provide copies to your next of kin, the medical proxy and your doctor; The matter should be discussed with your GP.

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Our Offices:

Leeds: Phoenix House, 3 South Parade, Leeds, LS1 5QX

Harrogate: 41 East Parade, Harrogate, HG1 5LQ

York: 1 Peckitt Street, Clifford's Tower, York, YO1 9SF

Leeds: 0113 2431714

Harrogate: 01423 704070

York: 01904 642727


Email: mail@richardsonlaw.co.uk


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