Living Wills or more formally Advanced Medical Directives are now becoming more popular.
This document is an expression of your desire to inform medical staff of your wishes with respect to all future medical treatment; but more importantly end of life medical treatment. It will deal with whether to prolong your life, or to refuse certain medical procedures, foods, or care.
The document only comes into effect when you are mentally impaired, such as in a coma, and unable to communicate with medical professionals as to the acceptability by you of certain medical treatments they wish to administer.
The form gives you peace of mind that your wishes will not be ignored at a time when you are unable to communicate them.
The directive can always be amended at any point while you have mental capacity. You may be concerned by religious or personal issues and these are areas that may be taken into account by setting up this arrangement.
The form is accepted by both the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing. Once arranged, the document should be placed with your medical records and a copy kept with your Will.
As a Living Will usually takes priority over a Lasting Power of Attorney, it is very important that you discuss your wishes under your Living Will with the Attorneys you appoint.