A judge in the Court of Protection has ruled that ‘total clarity’ is essential in the the drafting of living wills if they are to stipulate whether medical intervention is to be allowed to help prolong a life, reports the Telegraph.
Living wills, or advance directives as they are sometimes known, give a future instruction to members of the medical profession as to your wishes in the event that you are incapacitated and unable to give your own instructions on how you wish your medical treatment to be conducted.
The case in question concerned a 67-year-old man who had suffered motor neurone disease for a decade and was paralysed. He had drawn up a living will with the help of his wife, doctor and other care professionals, indicating that he didn’t want to receive any life-sustaining treatments.
Another of his carers, who had not witnessed the living will, had raised a concern over whether the man had actually been able to indicate his consent to the agreement, and the case was referred to the court for clarification.
According to the Telegraph, the judge ruled that in this case she was satisfied that the man had the capacity to consent to such a decision, but stressed the importance of clarity in the creation of living wills.