Making your wishes known…

document signing

Brenda Grant had made an Advance Directive (sometimes known as a Living Will) stating that under certain circumstances she did not wish to be artificially fed. However none of her family were aware of this and the hospital did not discover the document in the thick bundle of medical documents supplied to them. After some considerable time the GP, who did know of the existence of the AD, intervened, and according to the press release, even then had to assist the family in arguing with the hospital and persuading them to follow Brenda’s wishes once the document was found.

Case highlights several issues

  • Hospital should have made more efforts to locate the document amongst the medical records
  • Brenda should have made her family aware of her wishes and that she had made the Advance Directive document
  • Brenda could have made an LPA (for Health & Welfare) instead of or additional to the AD; this has the benefit that the appointed Attorney(s) have to sign and then take responsibility for the Donor if required
  • Although both the LPA and the AD are legal documents the fact that the LPA is registered with the Court means it is likely the Hospital will take more notice of the LPA