An Advanced Health Care Directive or ‘living will’ is a way of recording your future wishes or instructions to doctors and health care workers, for situations where you are unable to communicate with them or have lost the ability to make decisions for yourself. This may not be necessary if you have a spouse, a person caring for you, or a relative or close friend who knows you well and will make decisions for you.
If you communicate your wishes clearly, they should then inform your doctor or health care provider of your wishes if you were unable to do so. Doctors are then required to obtain consent from your “person responsible” if you are not able to consent to medical treatment. In the first instance, this would be your spouse.
An advanced health care directive can provide a means of stating precisely what you want done in particular circumstances. An advanced health care directive can assist an enduring guardian to be clear about your health care wishes.
There are a number of ways in which an advanced health care directive can be stated. The Estate Planning team at Baldock Stacy & Niven can explain all the options and help you correctly record what you would like to be done.
We recommend you discuss this with your doctor and encourage you contact us if you have any questions or would like to create your own Advanced Health Care Directive — your Living Will.