The term Advance Directive (AD) (sometimes known as a “Living Will”) means a statement explaining what medical treatment an individual would not want in the future, should that individual 'lack capacity' as defined by the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
The term 'Living Will', whilst helping people to understand the concept, is somewhat misleading in that, unlike a will, it does not deal with money or property. Moreover, it can relate to all future treatment, not just that which may be immediately life-saving.
An advance directive is legally binding and does not have to be written down (although the vast majority are), except in the case where the individual decides to refuse life-saving treatment.
Whilst the patient has ‘capacity’, their word overrides anything contained in their advance directive or anything their legal representative may say.
Click here to download our brief information guide.
Click here to download a blank Advance Directive form.