Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Signing up for AMD?

There are a few things I always discuss with my clients whenever we discuss about taxation and Estate Plan during our review sessions. One of the issue I'll bring out is the Advance Medical Directives (AMD).

There are around 4,000 people who signed up for AMD over the past 2 years. I like to reinforce that there are people who are independent and do not want their lives artificially prolonged should they become unconscious while terminally ill..

So what is AMD?
The AMD is designed to provide autonomy for patients to determine in advance of their wish to die naturally and with dignity when death is imminent and when they lose their capacity to decide or communicate. It legally registers the views and wishes.

What do you mean by Terminal Illnesses?
An incurable condition caused by injury or disease from which there is no reasonable prospect of a temporary or permanent recovery where death would be imminent regardless of the use of extraordinary life-sustaining treatment and where such use would only serve to postpone the moment of death of the patient.

What do you mean by "Extraordinary life-sustaining treatment"?
Any medical procedure or measure which will only prolong the process of dying for terminally ill patients when death is imminent but excludes palliative care.
Palliative care is the provision of reasonable medical procedures for relieving pain, suffering or discomfort and the reasonable provision of food and water.

How to make an AMD?
1) Complete the AMD form
* Go take from your polyclinic or download from
2) Find a valid witness to your private clinic or polyclinic
* 2 witnesses needed and one of them must be a doctor
* See below for Criteria of the other witness you find
3) The doctor will explain the AMD and act as your first witness
* Pass the form to the doctor and tell him your intention
* You will pay a consultation fee to the doctor
4) Return the form to the Registrar of AMD
Send the form to:
The Registry of Advance Medical Directives
Ministry of Health,College of Medicine Building,
16 College Road,
Singapore 169854
5) Wait for an acknowledgement from the Registrar
* Call them if you didn't hear from them after 1 month
Tel: 6325 9136
Fax: 6325 9212

What shall be the Criteria of your witness?
a) Is not a beneficiary under the patient's will or any policy of insurance
b) has no interest under any instrument which the patient is the donor, settlor or grantor
c) would not be entitled to an interest in the estate of the patient on the patient's death intestate
d) would not be entitled to an interest in the moneys of the patient held in the CPF or other provident fund on the death of the patient
e) has not registered an objection under section 10(1) of the AMD Act 1996

Is it expensive to sign up AMD?
You don't need a lawyer to write the AMD. Its Free! Only need to pay a small consultation fee to the doctor.

Should I sign up for an AMD?
Its up to you. However its better that you discuss it with your spouse first. If after signing up, you wish to revoke it, you still can do so anytime.

Info partially extracted from http://www.lawsociety.org.sg and http://www.sma.org.sg

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