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Understanding advance care planning

So what is advance care planning?

An advance care plan helps you to consider and record your future care wishes.

No one is obliged to carry out advance care planning; however, it can be very useful to indicate, as far as possible, anything that’s important to you no matter how trivial it may seem. Advance care planning can occur at any time you choose, as you may have strong views about things that you would or would not like for your future wishes. It can give you peace of mind because you know that someone you trust will act on your behalf if you become seriously unwell. Although some aspects of Advance care planning aren’t legally binding such as statements about your wishes and preferences, they will be very helpful for healthcare professionals if they make decisions about your care in the future and we will guarantee to these as closely as possible. 

Understanding the Legality aspects of an Advance Care Planning

You may want to put things in place to be sure your wishes will be met in the future, we have summarised the legally binding aspects of Advance Care Planning below.


What is it?


Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of attorney

You identify a person to make decisions about things such as paying bills,
dealing with the bank and selling your house. Choose someone who has an understanding of your preferences.

Must be registered with the office of public guardian.

You must be aged 18 or over and have the capacity.


You may find it helpful to talk to a solicitor.


Remember to write down their name for the future.

Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney  This form allows you to appoint a trusted relative or friend to oversee your health care if you become unable to do so. This allows them to make decisions about things such as treatment, care, medication and where you live. Choose someone who has an understanding of your preferences.
Advance Decision to refuse treatment An advance decision to refuse treatment is a decision you can make to refuse a specific type of treatment at some time in the future.

If you make an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment after creating a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney, this will overrule the Lasting Power of Attorney.


Specify all the circumstances in which you want to refuse any particular treatment


Discuss this with a health care professional who is fully aware of your medical history (e.g. your GP)


It must be in writing, signed and witnessed

Living Will This document allows you to specify treatment instructions for doctors and loved ones if you can no longer communicate them yourself. 

It must be in writing, signed and witnessed by two people.


You must have the mental capacity to make the will and understand the effect it will have.


You must have made the will voluntarily and without pressure from anyone else.

DNACPR This form instructs paramedics, doctors and other health care professionals to NOT perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when your heart and/or lungs stop working. This does not stop any other appropriate treatment.  Discuss with your DR and he/she will complete the form recording this electronically. The original paper copy is to be kept with you at all times and is to be taken to all health settings. 





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