advance directive

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advance directive

a declaration by a person in relation to medical treatment (usually to instruct that it stop) to provide for a situation in which he might himself be unable to comment, e.g. the so-called living will. The US Supreme Court established the right for a person to refuse medical treatment, which in the case of a comatose patient can be difficult to establish. This is an issue that is troubling most legal systems because it raises moral, philosophical and practical questions. In the UK the directive is legally effective because treatment requires consent. It need not be in writing. It cannot, however, compel doctors to cease treatment so as to mercy-kill or provide treatment which they do not consider to be in the best interests of the patient.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's thought only around five per cent of those treated for mental health problems have prepared an advance statement.
An early study using AD-Maker found that a majority of randomly selected people with SMI were able to complete a psychiatric advance statement within 80 minutes and that the computer program, which used drop-down menus for choices, was an effective way to complete the statement, even for those with little or no prior computer experience (Sherman, 1998).
Her announcement - there is an outside chance it could be delayed until next week - will be an advance statement of intent.
Provisions to allow patients to make an advance statement to record their treatment preferences in the event that they become unwell and require compulsory treatment; and to nominate a person to support them during compulsory treatment.