What is an Advance Decision?
Most commonly known as a ‘living will’, common law has long recognised advance decisions, however they were put on a statutory footing by s.24-26 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) with effect from 1 October 2007.
An advance decision is now defined as a decision refusing the giving or continuing of specific medical treatment if, at the time in the future at which that treatment is to be given or continued, the decision maker has lost capacity to consent to it.
A copy of any advance decision you make should be lodged with your GP and known to your immediate family.
Alternatives to advance decision
An individual can appoint one or more attorneys under a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney to take decisions about medical treatment in the event of lost capacity. A health and welfare attorney can be given power to refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment, but this power must be expressly set out in the LPA form.
Reviewing advance decision
There is no requirement for a decision-maker to review their advance decision and, in the absence of an express provision in the decision itself, it is not time limited. However, the MCA 2005 Code of Practice recommends that anyone who has made an advance decision should review it regularly and update it as necessary.
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*Fees correct as of June 2018 and may be subject to change at anytime.