An Advance Decision allows you to say now what medical treatments you might want to refuse should you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself in the future. An Advance Decision is legally binding and, as long as it is validly made, the health care professionals treating you must follow your wishes.
An Advance Decision must be specific about which treatments you wish to refuse and in what circumstance. Advance Decisions can help with end of life planning but can also be used in cases where treatment is to be refused for religious reasons, for example.
An Advance Decision can be written or verbal unless it is a decision to refuse life sustaining treatment when specific rules apply and it must be in written form.
Using this website to create an Advance Decision
To create your own Advance Decision go to Make a Living Will. Alternatively, you can go to the relevant condition under the Guide to illnesses. The most important conditions are dementia and coma, whatever the cause of the coma may be (for example, stroke, head injury or any terminal illness).