Making your Advance Decision effective: Hints and tips
Talk to your GP
Discuss your AD with your GP and/or medical specialists (especially if you have a known medical condition – they will know what is most likely to happen to you in the future).
If there is any possible doubt about your capacity at the point that you are making your AD (e.g. early dementia, mental illness, depression, learning disability), get a ‘capacity’ statement from your GP or other healthcare professional. (See the example ADs for ‘Brian’ and ‘Dawn’, both of which include capacity statements.)
Change of circumstances
If your other circumstances change (e.g. marriage, pregnancy, change of religion), update your AD.
If you get a new medical diagnosis, update your AD.
Ensure that you are actually refusing what you want to refuse – many ADs do not in fact reflect the person’s wishes (if unsure, ask ADA – we are happy to talk through a draft with you).
Change of mind
If you change your mind about what you want, update your AD.
Pre-2005 ‘living wills’ may well no longer be valid (if unsure, ask ADA to review, and help you update if necessary).
Review and reaffirm your AD every year – perhaps more often, if your health is changing rapidly. (You can add a statement saying ‘I reviewed this AD on [date] and I confirm that it still represents my wishes – then sign next to the statement.)