On Friday MPs overwhelmingly rejected a proposed Assisted Dying Bill, using their free vote to defeat plans that would allow selected terminally ill adults to end their lives with medical supervision. This is an emotive issue which raised a number of legal and ethical questions.
For now, without legislation for assisted dying in the UK, individuals who want to set out their wishes regarding future care or treatment should prepare health and welfare powers of attorney or advance directives (‘living Wills’).
A Health and Welfare Power of Attorney appoints an attorney to act as your proxy in the event that you are incapacitated. Your attorney can make decisions regarding your health and welfare, even to the extent that they can consent to or refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf. An advance directive is a legally binding document and, if executed correctly, your wishes and feelings will need to be adhered to by any medical professional responsible for your care.
Both documents can ease the worry of ill health and treatment and allow control to remain with you.
For more information about preparing a Power of Attorney or living Will, please contact Anthony Fairweather.