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Advance statement of wishes

An advance statement is a document in which a person can express their wishes, preferences, beliefs, and values about their future care and treatment. It is also known as a living will or a personal directive.

Advance statements are typically used in the context of healthcare, particularly for people who have long-term health conditions, disabilities, or terminal illnesses. The purpose of an advance statement is to ensure that the person’s wishes are taken into account if they are unable to communicate them later on.

An advance statement may cover a wide range of issues, including:

  • The type of medical treatment or care that the person would like to receive or refuse
  • The place where the person would prefer to receive care, such as at home or in a hospital
  • The person’s religious or cultural beliefs that may impact their care
  • The person’s preferences for end-of-life care, such as whether they would like to be resuscitated or have life-sustaining treatment withheld
  • The person’s wishes regarding organ donation and funeral arrangements.

An advance statement is not legally binding, but healthcare professionals are expected to take it into account when making decisions about a person’s care.

Jane, Head of Counselling & Support with a client

An advance statement of wishes and preferences allows you to express what is important to you, your likes and dislikes. It can be really helpful if you lose capacity or have difficulty in communicating your wishes.

The statement can include information on your beliefs and values, your dietary requirements and foods you particularly like or don’t like. It can contain information about where you would prefer to be cared for, for example at home, your care home, in the Hospice or at Cottage Hospice at Five Ashes if you are in our locality.

You can share who you would or wouldn’t like to visit you and also who you would want consulted about your care, which is also dealt with under Health and Welfare LPA. An advance statement isn’t legally binding but it is a good idea to share copies with those involved in your care so that your wishes can be taken into account.