You will need an Advance Health Directive when the unexpected happens and you are not able to make any decisions about your future health care. For example, when you are involved in a serious car accident, as a result, you are in a coma.
You will also need an Advance Health Directive if your lifelong illness has worsened and removed your ability to make decisions.
This document allows you to set out
This document must also be completed with your doctor and witnessed by an authorized witness (solicitor, JP).
The Advance Health Directive will come into effect once you (the principal) do not have the capacity to make your own healthcare decisions.
It can cover your directions on:
Generally speaking you have 4 options:
Yes, you can. However, your wishes to withhold or withdraw from life sustaining measures can only be respected if one of the following occurs:
You can do the following:
It is highly recommended that you review your advance health directive:
Yes, you may revoke or cancel your advance health directive at any time you have the capacity to do so.
You do not need to complete a specific form to cancel or revoke your advance health directive. However, the revocation or cancellation must be in writing and you must take all reasonable steps to advise all people involved.
Your advance health directive may be revoked when you:
Your advance health directive may also be revoked, if the attorney or attorneys:
Unlike an Enduring Power of Attorney, an Advance Health Directive only talks about your health.
Furthermore, the Advance Health Directive is a reflection of your decision. Whereas, Enduring Power of Attorney allows your appointed Attorney to make decisions for you in the future.
When you create the Advance Health Directive, you are called the “principal”.
You can use your advance health directive to appoint someone you trust to make decisions about your health care on your behalf.
This person is called your ‘attorney’ and you can appoint more than one if you choose.
They don’t need any legal experience to carry out this role.
To be an attorney in your advance health directive, a person must:
In terms of your advance health directive, there are many obligations for your attorney, some important ones include:
Yes, a doctor is needed to complete and sign a specific section of your Advance Health Directive.
It is highly recommended that you speak to your general or specialist medical practitioner who is familiar with your medical history and current treatments.
The doctor must be able to state that you are not suffering from depression or any other condition that would affect your understanding of the directions in the Advance Health Directive.
In addition, the doctor must be able to record your instructions and more importantly, to correctly describe medical treatment instructions.
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