Advance Decisions

Advance decisions to refuse medical treatment can be made by people over 18.

Only advance decisions to refuse life sustaining treatment must be made in writing, and witnessed.

They will take effect if, at the time, the person lacks capacity. They must be directly relevant to current circumstances.

Advance decisions cannot refuse basic care.

The advance decisions are not valid if:

  • the person can change their mind,
  • there’s a later Lasting Power of Attorney for the same treatment, or
  • the person has acted against that decision.

Non-urgent advice: Right to refuse treatment

More information on your right to refuse treatment is available on the NHS website. Do I have the right to refuse treatment?

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Page last reviewed: 18 January, 2024