Making end of life decisions in advance

19th September 2016

When it comes to making end of life decisions on your behalf, your attorneys or relatives might be too upset and refuse to follow your wishes. In order to make sure you only receive the medical treatment you want, you can make an advance directive with a supporting advance statement to give clear instructions to healthcare professionals.

Shelly Wainwright, wills and probate solicitor at Ansons Solicitors in Cannock and Lichfield, outlines reasons for making an advance directive.

“We strongly advise everyone to make a lasting power of attorney which gives your attorneys authority to make decisions about your welfare and healthcare if you become mentally incapable. However, we know that it can be difficult for attorneys who are often closely related to you to consent to life sustaining treatment being withheld when the time comes,” says Shelly.

While you may have made your attorneys aware of your wishes and given them the power to act on your behalf, they have the discretion to decide as they see fit. They may be aware of your wishes but they do not have to follow them.

Instead, we can help you make an advance directive exactly outlining the medical treatment you would like to receive and refuse, under which circumstances and at what point during your illness. Your supporting advance statement expresses your wishes, religious and spiritual beliefs, preferences and values to contextualise your advance statement and provide guidance for your attorneys.

To be valid, your advance decision and supporting statement should be signed after your health and welfare lasting power of attorney is registered. Healthcare professionals must follow the instructions contained in a valid advance directive if it applies to the particular circumstances and treatment that is being considered.

For more information on making an advance directive, lasting power of attorney or any other wills and probate matter contact Shelly Wainwright on 01543 267 984 or email Ansons Solicitors has offices in Cannock and Lichfield, Staffordshire.