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Zach Moss 15 June 2017

Stay in control of your health – now and in the future

Throughout our lives we make countless decisions about our healthcare, and being in control of these choices is something many of us value. Unfortunately, often it’s only once we or a loved one has lost this autonomy that we realise just how important it is to us.

Fortunately, there is a way to remain in control, and we’ve has just made it easier and simpler than ever with our new and improved Advance Decision form.

An Advance Decision allows you to record any treatments that you do not want to be given in the future, in case you later become unable to make or communicate decisions through injury or illness. It allows you to remain at the heart of these choices, giving you peace of mind that if the worst does happen your wishes will still be followed.

Jakki Cowley of Empowerment Matters supports our new form and feels strongly that greater awareness of Advance Decisions is needed. Jakki is an advocate who helps families navigate the complicated and often traumatic legal processes which can arise when someone has lost capacity and hasn’t recorded their wishes beforehand in a legally binding way.

People assume they can just tell a family member their wishes and that’s enough – that next of kin can make these decisions on your behalf – but it is a doctor who has the final say. Without something legally binding in place like an Advance Decision, your loved ones may have to go through a traumatic court process to have your wishes respected and followed.

Jakki Cowely, Empowerment Matters

The message is clear – if you want a say over your future treatment and care, make an Advance Decision. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not expensive or complicated to do so – our new form is free, simple and easy to complete. We’ve consulted with service users, clinicians, lawyers and members of the public over several months to develop a form that works for everyone and can be personalised to reflect your own wishes.

The form is now shorter and simpler, taking you through different conditions in which you could lose capacity so you can record your treatment wishes for each scenario clearly and concisely.

It also includes a section in which you can state other wishes and preferences, such as where you’d like to be cared for, and your wishes regarding pain relief, pregnancy and organ donation. There is also space to include details of your Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare or anyone else you want to be involved in your care.

With this new form, recording your wishes for future treatment couldn’t be easier. It doesn’t cost you anything and you can work at a space that suits you, but the reassurance and peace of mind you’ll get for you and your loved ones is invaluable. Make an Advance Decision and ensure you stay in control of your health – now and in the future.

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