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Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment

These are different to Lasting Powers of Attorney and if you want both, you need to be careful they do not conflict with one another.

An ADRT sets out specific medical treatment that you want to refuse to have, should you lack capacity to make or communicate that decision in the future.

Your best interests are NOT relevant to an ADRT.

The decision to refuse treatment stems directly from you, rather than a decision being made on your behalf. As such the healthcare professional must follow a valid and applicable ADRT, even if they think it goes against your best interests

An ADRT does not allow you to request particular treatments, to ask for anything illegal, to refuse basic care that keeps you comfortable or to appoint someone else to make decisions for you.

If it is valid and applicable, healthcare professionals must follow it unless you are detained under the Mental Health Act and it tries to refuse consent to treatment for your mental health illness.

It may be recorded in your healthcare records, on a ‘ADRT card’, or your family and friends may be aware of its existence and alert the health professionals involved. Persons registered with a GP practice, will have a Summary Care Record (unless they have chosen not to have one). It contains basic information including their medications, any allergies and any reactions they may have had to medication in the past. It is advisable for you to record the ADRT in their Summary Care Record.

Although a powerful document with serious consequences, you don’t necessarily need a solicitor to draft one and there are several charities which will help.

Frequently asked questions

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I have compiled a selection of frequently asked questions. If you have any questions that I haven’t covered, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.

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I have compiled a selection of frequently asked questions and answers related to wills and will trusts. If you have any questions that I haven’t covered, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.

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