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How can I ensure my wishes are followed if I become ill?

Published: 22 April 2020
Time to read: 2 mins

The rise of Covid-19 and its ascendancy to pandemic status, has left the majority of people feeling somewhat anxious, unsettled and fearful. The foremost topic of global concern is a common one; the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our loved ones.

Advanced Medical Directive
Now more than ever, many people are keen for their wishes towards certain types of medical treatment to be formally recorded, should illness befall them in the future when perhaps they are unable to communicate, or they lose their mental capacity.  This can be achieved with a document known as an Advanced Medical Directive (“AMD”) which will confirm such wishes and, once signed, should be kept safe by your GP and solicitor.

The legislation in this area states that, when making a decision about your treatment, the medical professional should take into account your past and (where appropriate) present wishes.  With this in mind, an AMD is a formal indication of your previously expressed wishes and as such should be considered when a decision is being made on your behalf.  Please note however, that in Scotland a medical practitioner is not legally bound to adhere to an AMD, but the vast majority will do so. Having such a document in place means that your family know your medical treatment wishes and helps them  make extremely difficult decisions at a traumatic time.

Powers of Attorney
Similarly should your health or mental faculties decline to the extent you cannot make decisions for yourself, a Power of Attorney (“POA”) can be invaluable. A POA is a document in which you appoint a trustworthy individual/s to look after your personal and legal affairs, in the event that you are unable to do so yourself, for example, due to an illness or accident. A POA is the most effective way to ensure that decisions about your finances and welfare are made by individuals who know you best and so can act in your interests, should you be unable to.

In what is an increasingly unsettling time, these documents will provide reassurance that those who know you best are in a position to protect your interests. We understand that there are a lot of things to juggle at the moment, but encourage you to get in touch and we can support you with these important decisions.

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