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Adult Social Care Glossary, v 0.41

Advance decision to refuse treatment


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See also

Advance statement

Digitising Social Care Glossary, v0.0.3

Advance decision to refuse one or more specific types of future treatment, made by a person who had capacity at the time of recording the decision. The decision only applies when the person no longer has the capacity to consent to or refuse the specific treatment being considered. An ADRT must be in writing, signed and witnessed. If the ADRT is refusing life-sustaining treatment it must state specifically that the treatment is refused even if the person's life is at risk.

CQC Glossary of terms used in the guidance for providers and managers

A decision to refuse specified medical treatment, made in advance by a person who has the mental capacity to do so. In this way, people can refuse medical treatment for a time in the future when they may lack the capacity to consent to, or refuse, that treatment.

NICE Guideline NG108 - Decision-making and mental capacity

An advance decision to refuse treatment (sometimes referred to as a living will and sometimes abbreviated to ADRT) is a decision an individual can make when they have capacity to refuse a specific type of treatment, to apply at some time in the future when they have lost capacity. It means that families and health professionals will know the person's decisions about refusing treatment if they are unable to make or communicate the decisions themselves.

An advance decision must be valid and applicable before it can be legally binding. For example, one of the conditions is that the individual is aged 18 or over at the time the decision is made. To establish whether an advance decision to refuse treatment is valid and applicable, practitioners must have regard to sections 24 to 26 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. If the advance decision purports to refuse life-sustaining treatment, additional requirements apply. (See Chapter 9 of the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice.)

Plain English definition
Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Jargon Buster

A decision you make about what medical treatment you would or would not want in the future, if you were unable to make decisions because of illness or because you lacked capacity to consent. Unlike an advance statement, it is legally binding in England and Wales. If you are thinking about making an advance decision, you should talk about this with your family and your GP. SEE ALSO: Advance statement

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