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Advance Decisions are sometimes referred to as "Living Wills" and are decisions made by someone over the age of 18 with sufficient capacity which state that if:
- at a time in the future in specified circumstances a particular treatment is proposed to be carried out or to continue; and
- at that time the person does not have capacity to consent or refuse consent to the proposed treatment.
then the decision set out in the Advance Decision should be followed.
An Advance Decision cannot authorise treatment to bring about death, but it would allow the medical professionals at the time to take steps or to withhold from taking certain steps which would otherwise be required on a “best interests” analysis of the patient’s circumstances.
Since the introduction of Advance Decisions in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 there is a growing body of case law which develop the detail of how and when advance decisions are to be followed or if they can be
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