Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts

Top Judge states that Living Wills should be compulsory

September 28, 2017

A High Court judge has suggested that people should be compelled to make Living Wills.

Justice Resize

Mr Justice Francis, who recently made rulings on the dispute between baby Charlie Gard’s parents and Great Ormond Street Hospital, commented that people should make Living Wills to set out their wishes should they suffer from a serious incapacitating illness. A Living Will is a document that sets out a patient's wishes regarding health care and how they want to be treated if they become seriously ill and are unable to make or communicate their own choices. A Living Will is a request in advance to Doctors not to give certain medical treatment.

In the case, which he described as “very, very sad”, the family of an elderly man who was in a minimally conscious state were in “great conflict” with the hospital staff.  This could have been somewhat avoided if the elderly man had a living will in place. 

Living Wills are not legally binding but health professionals do have to take them into account when deciding on a course of action and family and friends can also use them as evidence of your wishes.  To guarantee that health professionals do take your wishes into account in regard to life sustaining treatment decisions, we always recommend the preparation of a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney to allow an Attorney(s) chosen by you to consent to, or refuse, medical treatment on your behalf.

For more information on Living Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, or any other legal issue, get in touch with our specialist team on 01275 841873 or email

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Top Judge states that Living Wills should be compulsory

Cherry Stuckey

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