As always, our main objective is to give you the best possible advice and help prepare you for any eventuality, especially when it affects your life.
In Scotland, you have the right to influence your medical treatment, including the right to refuse to accept medical treatment, if you are an adult with legal capacity. You may wish to refuse certain treatments due to religious beliefs, possible side effects or because you believe coping with the illness may be easier than accepting significant treatments that have limited success rates.
The right to refuse treatment can only happen if you have the ability to communicate and this is where legal and practical difficulties could arise if you lose capacity to communicate. An Advanced Directive (AD) or the more commonly known term, Living Will, would settle this matter. It is a clear written statement in advance to your doctors and family as to your wishes regarding healthcare and treatment should certain extreme conditions arise.
Having an Advanced Directive is important if:
- You were suffering from a terminal condition, incapable of communication and understanding and also if you have only a short time to live.
- If you don’t want to be kept alive for long periods in that condition by interventionist treatment
An Advance Directive does not:
- Have anything to do with assisted dying.
- Affect you getting appropriate life-saving treatment due to a car crash or similar accidents.