Advanced Directives – Information For Patients
We fully support and respect your right to produce a ‘Living Will’ – sometimes called an ‘Advance Directive’.
Drafting of the document is very much your responsibility. We are, however, happy to help you in deciding upon the specific medical interventions you want to avoid. We are also happy to help in ensuring you fully understand the implications of your decisions. Please discuss these issues with your GP if you would like some help.
We are also aware that living wills should be carefully produced to ensure they are adhered to if/ when they are needed. Hence we recommend various sources for detailed information about living wills. Some of them produce specific guidance on producing a living will – please see below for details.
We would like to emphasise various important areas which we feel you should be aware of – they are more fully discussed in the detailed information obtained from the contacts below.
- You cannot use an Advance Directive to insist on any specific treatment - it can only authorise or refuse treatment.
- It is your responsibility to ensure that the existence of an Advance Directive is known to those who may be asked to comply with its provisions.
- It is strongly recommended that patients review their directives on a regular basis and ensure all older copies are destroyed.
- It is much preferred that we receive a copy of your directive in typed form so it can be incorporated into your computerised medical records – this will make it easy for us to act upon it at short notice.
Useful Contacts and resources
Freepost (SWB 30375)
Devon TQ13 7ZZ
PO Box 935
Middx HA1 3YJ
0845 6084 455
Voluntary Euthanasia Society
provide a standard living will and detailed instructions on how to complete it for £15.
The Natural Death Centre
6 Balckstock Mews
0871 288 2098
Provide standard living wills and instructions on how to complete for £7