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Advance decision to refuse treatment

Advance decision to refuse treatment

What is an advance decision?

An advance decision (sometimes known as an advance decision to refuse treatment, an ADRT, or a living will) is a decision you can make now to refuse a specific type of treatment at some time in the future.  It lets your family, carers and health professionals know your wishes about refusing treatment if you're unable to make or communicate those decisions yourself.

The treatments you're deciding to refuse must all be named in the advance decision, for example, do not resuscitate.  You may want to refuse a treatment in some situations, but not others. If this is the case, you need to be clear about all the circumstances in which you want to refuse this treatment.

Who should see it?

You have the final say on who sees it, but you should make sure that your family, carers or health and social care professionals know about it, and know where to find it.  Your family or carers may have to find it quickly if you require emergency treatment and they need to tell the healthcare professionals your wishes.  Some patients decided to have this just inside their front door, others had this on the fridge door. You can keep a copy in your medical records.

There is more information about 'advance decision to refuse treatment' on the NHS website.


Compassion in Dying logo

The Compassion in Dying website has useful information and resources to help guide your decision making and support your choices