You can refuse a treatment that could potentially keep you alive (known as life-sustaining treatment). This includes treatments such as mechanical ventilation to help you breathe and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) if your heart stops.
You may want to discuss this with a doctor or nurse who knows about your medical history before you make up your mind.
If you want to refuse life sustaining treatment you need to make sure the decision is:
- written down
- signed by you
- signed by an independent witness
- specifies which circumstances you want it to apply in
- includes the statement “even if life is at risk”
If you prepare an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment according to the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and it is found to be valid and to apply to the current circumstances, medical professionals providing your care are bound to follow your wishes. This is the case regardless of whether the doctors believe it is in your best interests.