Page 24 - seniors today August issue
P. 24


                                                              Advance Directive –

                                                              A Living Will

        If you are seriously ill or incapacitated, it is a good idea to leave in-
        structions for your care, writes Sonavi Kher Desai

        With increasing longevity, it is common today         must be in writing, clearly stating as to when
        to find people suffering from terminal illnesses      medical treatment may be withdrawn or that no
        or from varying forms of dementia.Bodily              specific medical treatment shall be given which
        functions decline and people are unable to care       will only delay the process of death, that may
        for themselves physically or to use their mental      otherwise cause him/her pain and suffering and
        faculties. In such situations of total dependency     put him/her in a state of indignity.
        and inability to take informed decisions for          Contents of the Directive
        themselves, the one way by which a person can          The directive should clearly state the
        take his/her own decision regarding his/her           circumstances for withholding or withdrawal
        treatment is by means of an “Advance Directive”       of medical treatment. The instructions must be
        or a “Living Will”. It is a document prepared         specific, clear and unambiguous.It should also:
        in advance by a person, expressing his/her            1.Mention that the executor may revoke the
        directions with regard to medical treatment in        instructions at any time.
        case of a situation of total dependency.              2.State that the executor has understood the
        The Supreme Court judgement delivered on              consequences of executing the document.
        9 March 2018 states the requirements for              3.Specify the name of a guardian or close
        executing an Advance Directive.                       relative who, in the event of the executor
                                                              becoming incapable of taking decision at the
        Who can execute it and how?                           relevant time, will be authorised to give consent
        The Advance Directive can be executed only by         to refuse or withdraw medical treatment in
        an adult who is of sound mind and in a position       accordance with the Directive.
        to understand and communicate the purpose              In the event that there is more than one valid
        and consequences of executing the document.           Advance Directive, none of which have been
        It must be executed voluntarily by the person         revoked, the most recently signed Advance
        without any undue influence or coercion. It           Directive will be considered as the last
                                                                                   SENIORS TODAY | Volume 1 | Issue 2
   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29