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Advance decision

An advance decision (also known as an advance decision to refuse treatment or a living will) is a decision that a person can make now to refuse a specific type of treatment in the future. It enables family, carers and health professionals to know whether the person wants to refuse specific treatments in the future. This means they will know the person’s wishes if they are unable to make or communicate those decisions. The treatments which the person wants to refuse must all be named in the advance decision. They may want to refuse a treatment in some situations, but not others. They can also refuse a treatment that could potentially keep them alive (life-sustaining treatment).