Advance Directive/Living Wills

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 whether you want to refuse specific treatments in the future. This means they will know your wishes if you are unable to make or communicate those decisions yourself.

The treatments you are deciding to refuse must all be named in the advance decision.

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.

You can refuse a treatment that could potentially keep you alive (known as life-sustaining treatment). This includes treatments such as ventilation and cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which may be used if you cannot breathe by yourself or if your heart stops. You may want to discuss this with a doctor or nurse who knows about your medical history before you make up your mind.