Author(s):Dr Lisa Williams and Dr John Rigby
Advance directives' or 'living wills' were originally designed for terminally ill patients. They are now seen as increasingly relevant to psychiatry, where self-determination has been recognised as a fundamental ethical principle.
Following the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, there are two sorts of advance decisions – advance statements and Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment (ADRTs).
These anticipate a time when the capacity to make a treatment decision has been lost, and detail a person’s wishes for future medical treatment. As such, they are a way of enhancing patient autonomy and choice.
As advance treatment refusals become more commonplace in clinical practice, psychiatrists may well be called upon to give an opinion about a person’s capacity to make an ADRT or be presented with one by a patient. Thus, they need to feel confident in this area.
This module will:
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