What is a Living Will?
A living will is where you express your wishes about how you want to be treated and cared for in certain situations, in case there comes a time when you lack capacity to make or communicate your decisions .
Why is it important
The importance of having a Living Will was highlighted in the media following an application by Lindsey Briggs made to the Court for an order to allow her husband Paul Briggs to die following a tragic accident which left him with severe brain injuries.
Lyndsey has since used her sad situation to raise public awareness of the importance of having a living will and has said
“A document, a statement of his wishes would have been totally non-negotiable. But Paul didn’t have one. Who does? You think as a wife you’ll be able to speak for your husband, be their voice. It’s shocking to find that you can’t. “
Easy to set up
A Living Will allows you to express your wishes to refuse medical treatment in future. It is sometimes referred to as an Advance Directive.
An Advance Directive is easy for you to set up and often it would be done at the same time as making a Will. It is a way of making it clear in a legal document what you want to happen if you are receiving life supporting treatment.
Peace of mind
Having a Living Will in place provides reassurance that if you were having life sustaining treatment and had strong wishes as to your treatment you have made your wishes known in a legal document that has to be adhered to. It gives you peace of mind.
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