Advance decision (Living wills)

2. What is an advance decision?

An advance decision allows you to decide now about specific treatments that you do not want to receive in the future. Its purpose is to ensure that, if you are not able to make decisions at the time, you are not forced to receive treatment that you would not want.

Treatment that you can refuse includes life-sustaining treatment. For example, some people may make an advance decision to refuse a blood transfusion for religious or spiritual reasons. You can do this even if it will hasten your own death.

Advance decisions are legally binding as long as they meet certain conditions. This means that they must be followed by doctors and other medical professionals. This section details these requirements so that you can be sure that any advance decision you make will be valid.