Benefit of an Advance Decision
Purpose of an Advance Decision
As an adult you are able to make your own decisions about the medical treatment you receive and you have the right to be involved in any decisions that affect you. You can also, however, plan ahead in case you become ill and are no longer able to make decisions for yourself about your health care by creating an Advance Decision.
An Advance Decision is a formal document that is legally binding. This means it must be followed by doctors and all other health care professionals who are caring for you. It will come into effect if you are no longer able to agree to or refuse a specific treatment, that is in legal terms you have a 'lack of mental capacity', and if your Advance Decision covers the specific treatment and situation.
Your rights and the law
The law assumes that you are able to make decisions about your health and care for yourself unless it is proven otherwise. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects this right by allowing you to make an Advance Decision, Advance Statement and a Lasting Power of Attorney. The Act, however does not allow you to request any specific treatments that may end your life as, under UK law, this is unlawful.
How to create a valid Advance Decision
To make an Advance Decision valid, specific information must be included. This website will help you prepare a legally valid Advance Decision that meets your needs and wishes. Although verbal Advance Decisions can still be valid, this website helps you to record your decision in writing to ensure clarity and certainty, and because you decide what is written in these documents, you can make sure they fit with your personal beliefs and values. Your Advance Decision will only apply if you lose the ability to make your own decisions.