It is a general principle of law and medical practice that you have a right to consent to, or refuse treatment.
The Law recognises that as an adult, you have the right to say in advance that you want to refuse treatment if you lose capacity in the future, even if this results in your death.
It is up to you to decide whether you want to refuse treatment in advance. You are entitled to do so if you want, but there is no obligation to do so.
A valid and applicable ADRT has the same effect as if the decision was made at the time the treatment is proposed. An ADRT can be made by anyone who is aged 16 or older and has the capacity to do so.
Healthcare professionals must follow an ADRT where it applies to the particular circumstances. If they do not, they could face criminal prosecution or civil liability.
You can only make ADRT to refuse treatment. You do not have the legal right to demand specific treatment, either at the time or in advance. You can make a request or state your wishes and preferences in advance in relation to the type of treatment you prefer to receive.
Nobody can ask for and receive procedures that are against the law.
An ADRT can have serious consequences for the people who make them. They can also have an impact on family, friends and professionals involved in the person’s care. Before healthcare professionals apply the ADRT they must satisfy themselves that:
- it exists
- is valid
- is applicable in the current circumstances
An ADRT never applies to any decision or treatment whilst a person has capacity to consent or refuse treatment.
Complete an ADRT form
A guide to making an ADRT
If you need additional pages for your form, use an ADRT continuation page.
ADRT additional page
ADRT for healthcare professionals
You can find out more about making and implementing an ADRT in our guide.
ADRT - A toolkit for healthcare professionals.