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An Important Document For The Terminally Ill

Modern medical technology can technically prolong life in the final stages of a terminal illness. However, it cannot stop the dying process.

Some terminally ill persons who are unable to express their wishes at that time may want to be spared further suffering and be allowed to die naturally, in peace and with dignity.

This is why an Advance Medical Directive (AMD) is important.


WHAT IS AN AMD?
It is a legal document that tells your doctor that you do not want extraordinary life-sustaining treatment to prolong your life, in the event you become terminally ill and unconscious. This means treatment that only prolongs the process of dying but does not cure the illness.

People may voluntarily make an AMD to tell their doctors they do not want this treatment. It is up to you whether you wish to make a document like this or not.

Anyone who is 21 years old and above, and who is not mentally disordered can make an AMD.
(Source: Ministry of Health)


MAKING AN AMD
Anyone who is aged 21 years old and above, and who is not mentally disordered, can make an AMD. Here are the steps:

  1. Obtain An AMD Form

  2. The forms are available from medical clinics, polyclinics and hospitals. You may also ask your doctor for the form if you have decided to make an AMD. Alternatively, you can also download the AMD form online at the MOH website here.

  3. Consult A Doctor With A Witness

  4. The AMD must be made through a doctor. You do not need either a lawyer or legal advice to make an AMD. The doctor has the responsibility to ensure that:
    • You are making the AMD voluntarily and without inducement or being forced
    • You are not mentally disordered
    • You understand the nature and consequences of making an AMD

    You need to have two people witness you sign the AMD and they must sign the form as witnesses in your presence. One witness must be the doctor. The second witness must be 21 years or above and can be the doctor’s nurse, or any other suitable person.

    If the witnesses are relatives, so long as they have no vested interests in your demise (e.g. not a beneficiary of your will or any policy of insurance), they would be allowed to act as witness.

    A doctor who for any reason objects to the AMD and registers his objection with the Registrar can refuse to witness the signing of an AMD. You can then approach another doctor to witness your AMD.

  5. Return The Form To The Registrar Of AMD

  6. The completed form should be sent in a sealed envelope by mail or by hand to:

    Registrar of Advance Medical Directives
    Ministry of Health, Singapore
    College of Medicine Building
    16 College Road
    Singapore 169854

    Your AMD is only valid when it is registered with the Registrar of Advance Medical Directives. The Registrar will send you an acknowledgement when the directive has been registered.

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Advance Medical Directive (AMD) is a legal document that tells your doctor that you do not want extraordinary life-sustaining treatment.
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Advance Medical Directive (AMD) is a legal document that tells your doctor that you do not want extraordinary life-sustaining treatment.
Advance Medical Directive (AMD) in Singapore