Intended for healthcare professionals


Living wills: GPs should do more to support patients, says charity

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 07 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5065
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

GPs should do more to help patients plan for their care and treatment because of a lack of awareness about advance decisions, says a report from the charity Compassion in Dying.1

Advance decisions are documents that allow people to state in what circumstances they would want to refuse future treatment if they become seriously ill and cannot make or convey such decisions. Formerly known as “living wills,” advance decisions gained legal status in 2005.

Despite their statutory status, however, the report found that some GPs had “significant gaps” in knowledge about advance decisions and how they …

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