Creating a valid Advance Decision
If an Advance Decision is validly made, healthcare professionals must do what it says. This website will ensure that you meet the required conditions, which are:
- The Advance Decision is written or recorded correctly and contains the right information.
- The Advance Decision applies to the situation you may be in when decisions need taking.
Required legal status
Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the law assumes that you are able to make decisions for yourself, unless it can be proven otherwise.You can only make an Advance Decision if:
- You are 18 years or over.
- You are considered able to make decisions for yourself.
When an Advance Decision applies
Your Advance Decision will only apply if:
- You are no longer able to agree to, or refuse, a specific treatment.
- Your Advance Decision covers the specific treatment/s and the specific situation/s.
- Nothing has changed since you made your Advance Decision of a nature which would cause the doctor or healthcare professional treating you to believe it to be no longer be valid.
It is recommended that you review your written Advance Decision regularly in order to confirm your decisions and take into account any changes in your situation. This is especially important if you have an illness that gets worse over time. See Updating your Advance Decision for further information.
Relationship between a LPA for Health and Welfare and an Advance Decision
There is a well-defined relationship between an Advance Decision and a LPA for Health and Welfare. If you choose to make both an Advance Decision and a LPA for Health and Welfare, the order in which they are made is important:
- If you make an Advance Decision after making and registering a LPA for Health and Welfare, the Advance Decision is what must be followed. This means an 'attorney' cannot give consent for treatment that has been refused in an Advance Decision.
- If you make an Advance Decision before making and registering a LPA for Health and Welfare, which gives the 'attorney' the right to consent to or refuse treatment, then the Advance Decision ceases to be enforceable. As a result, the 'attorney' can choose not to follow the Advance Decision once the LPA for Health and Welfare is registered. From this point the 'attorney' will make decisions on your behalf.