Find out how to decline medical care by drafting an advance decision, or living will.

What is a living will?

You may choose to outline your wishes for refusing medical treatment if you become terminally ill, or if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.

In order to do this, you can draw up a legal document known as a ‘advance decision’ – formerly dubbed a ‘living will’.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland, this document is dubbed a ‘advance directive’ and is not legally-binding.

How to make an advance choice

Within an advance decision, you can name specific medical treatments you refuse to undergo and outline situations in which these treatments should not be administered.

An advance decision is legally-binding but will only be enforced if you lose capacity or cannot articulate your preferences.

It does not give someone else ability to make other medical choices on your behalf – for that, you’ll need to put in place a lasting Power of Attorney.

Refusing life-sustaining treatment may lead to your death, thus there are a lot of variables that should be taken into account before creating an advance choice.