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We all have a right to choose the health care treatment we receive. For this reason we need to provide our consent for the majority of decisions involving our health.

So what happens if we are in a position where we cannot communicate, but if we could communicate we would probably express a desire to withdraw certain medical treatment and life supporting facilities?

The circumstances we are describing are those where through accident or illness we are being artificially kept alive by the medical profession, with no hope of our survival. The withdrawal of such treatment would result in our death, and in the opinion of the medical practitioners we have no chance of recovery.

If presented with these circumstances we maybe certain that we would ask for such treatment to be withdrawn. But if we cannot communicate how do we inform those around us of our wishes?

An Advanced Directive, often called a Living Will, is a pre-prepared statement made by an individual during their lifetime expressing their wish to withdraw medical treatment if they are in a similar condition as described above, with no hope of their survival.

However, the Advanced Directive would express a wish to receive medical treatment, such as pain relieving drugs, even though such drugs may have an adverse effect of shortening your life even further.

The Advanced Directive is a thoughtful gesture made by a person who considers the position and involvement of their family should this situation arise. The Advance Directive is seen as the patient's decision to withdraw treatment thereby assisting family and doctors in the consultation process.

Goodwills can arrange to draft your Advanced Directive for you. To do so we require your details, those of your doctor and your next of kin. We produce three copies of the Advanced Directive for you to sign. One copy should be kept by you, one copy should be passed to your next of kin and one copy should be handed to your doctor's surgery to be kept with your medical notes. This process means that all parties are aware of your requirements.

  • About Goodwills Midlands

    Jim Goddard, a former training and support officer for the Willwriters Association and the Association of Lawyers and Legal Advisers began Complete Wills Ltd which became Goodwills Ltd, when it expanded its operational area to include Southern England. Jim was responsible for training the Goodwills team of Consultants in the early days of the organisation. Now all our Consultants are trained by our legal team at headquarters.


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    Mike Humpherson. EPC Cert. Aff. S.W.W.
    Direct Line: 0845 678 7010

    Fax: 01785 713629
    Mobile: 07771 992717

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