Reviewing and changing your advance decision

If you change your mind about your advance decision, you can review and make changes to this document.

When making an advance decision, you should think about the possibility that you might change your mind in the future. You must still have mental capacity to make any changes to your decision.

It’s possible that you could change your mind about a treatment, but if you don’t amend your decision before you lose capacity, your original decision will apply.

It is also possible that you refuse treatment in an advance decision that you would actually have accepted if you had mental capacity to decide about it at the time.

It can be hard to predict what you will want in a future situation until it happens. These are not easy decisions to make, which is why it is important that you discuss them with professionals and those close to you.

Regularly reviewing your plans

It’s a good idea to review your advance decision regularly to make sure that it still reflects what you want. You can make changes as long as you have mental capacity to do so.

To do this, you can start a new advance decision, and complete a new form. Or you can make changes to your existing document, making sure you sign and date it again to confirm the changes. 

Whether you make changes to the original document or fill out a new one, you must make sure that a witness also signs and dates the new version.

Make sure you give copies of the new version to everyone who held a copy of the old version.

Even if you review the decision and don’t make any changes it is a good idea to sign it and date it to show that you have reviewed it. 

If you do review your advance decision regularly (particularly if your condition changes or if the available treatments change) it is less likely to be challenged. This is because it will be considered more likely that you have taken on board these changes since you made the original decision.

Think about reviewing your advance decision if you are going into hospital for major treatment or surgery, to make sure it is up to date.