Advanced Decision

Advance decisions are legally binding and must be followed by doctors and other health professionals, as long as they meet certain conditions. At the time that you make an advance decision, you  must be 18 or over and have the mental capacity to make such a decision. It should make clear which treatments you are refusing, (although you  do not have to use detailed medical terms) and you should explain which  circumstances the refusal refers to. A doctor will need this information to decide whether an advance decision is valid and applicable to a  particular treatment.

If you decide to make an advance decision, you should keep it up to date as your views and wishes may change over  time. Health professionals may decide that an advance decision is not  valid in circumstances where, since making it, you have done anything  clearly inconsistent with the advance decision or you have made an LPA  with authority to consent to, or refuse, the proposed treatment.

Some people choose to make an advance decision knowing that it may have the  effect of shortening their life. Life-sustaining treatment is any  treatment that is needed to keep you alive and without which you might  die. There are some specific rules to follow if you want to make an  advance decision to refuse life-sustaining treatment