At Compassion in Dying we have found that while 82% of people have strong feelings about their end-of-life care, only 4% of them have completed an Advance Decision or Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare (LPA).
In response to this, we have created www.MyDecisions.org.uk, the UK’s first website that allows people to draft an Advance Decision or Advance Statement online for free.
Through Compassion in Dying’s services people most commonly ask for information on how to ensure their wishes for end-of-life treatment and care are respected if capacity is lost in the future, a concern often triggered for individuals who have witnessed the death of a loved one or who have had a diagnosis themselves. Through www.MyDecisions.org.uk we hope to help people understand their rights to plan ahead under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and provide them with a secure and legally binding way to ensure their wishes are followed in the future.
The MyDecisions site was developed following consultation with over 300 people to ensure that the site is user-friendly, straight-forward and jargon free. Compassion in Dying also worked with doctors and lawyers in designing the site to ensure that the forms meet all legal requirements and are clear in a medical situation, when they matter most.
The website guides each user through different scenarios in which they might be unable to make their own decisions and prompts them to consider what they would want in these situations. These scenarios include dementia, brain injury and terminal illness. People can save their progress and return to it later, allowing them time to consider and talk to others about their wishes.
Thinking about such things can be difficult and the website has been designed to offer comprehensive guidance at each step. If people require more help at any stage they can call Compassion in Dying’s free Information Line on 0800 999 2434. At the end people receive a personalised Advance Decision or Advance Statement to print, sign, witness and then share.
For more information or to make an Advance Decision or Advance Statement go to www.MyDecisions.org.uk. Click here http://compassionindying.org.uk/livingwill for a free guide to making an Advance Decision. You can also call Compassion in Dying’s information line on 0800 999 2434, open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday or visit the website www.compassionindying.org.uk.