An advance decision document expresses your wishes for future treatments in case you aren’t able to communicate them, should that time come.
The legal effect of an advance decision is limited to the refusal of consent to future treatment. However, there is no reason why an advance decision can’t also include positive preferences for particular treatments. Although it isn’t legally binding, communicating preferences for particular treatments may help healthcare professionals to decide what treatment may be best if you are incapacitated.
Requirements for making an advance decision
To make a valid advance decision you need to be:
- 1) Over the age of 18
- 2) Have capacity
For the advance decision to remain valid it must be:
- 1) Not withdrawn
- 2) Not overridden by a health and welfare LPA
- 3) Not impliedly withdrawn by your actions
- 4) Relevant
Could an advance decision be right for you?
There are both advantages and disadvantages to making an advance decision.
The advantages are:
- 1) It provides certainty
- 2) It acts as a record of your wishes
- 3) It is effective immediately
The disadvantages are:
- 1) There is no central record
- 2) There is often a lack of formality
- 3) They are not always applicable
- 4) They need to be kept under review
Contact me for an initial discussion to see how I can help you to plan for the future.
Frequently asked questions
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