An Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT) is a written statement of your wishes to refuse a particular treatment. It may also set out the specific circumstances in which you would not want a particular treatment.
It is a way of making sure that everyone knows what treatments you do not want to have, if you are unable to make your own decisions in the future.
Here are examples of situations where an ADRT can be used:
- If your illness could not be cured and you become very unwell after all possible treatment, you would not want to be kept alive by being fed or given fluids through a feeding tube or drip.
- If you are being fed or given fluids through a feeding tube or drip, you do not want this to continue if your condition were to get worse and it is not improving your quality of life.
- You do not want to be given antibiotics for an infection if you are only expected to live for a few days.
- You do not want to be resuscitated if your heart stops.
Later on in this section, we have an example of how some of this information could be written in an ADRT document.
An ADRT cannot include a request to have treatment or to have your life ended. You can request, but not insist on, treatment in your wishes for your care.
It is important to be as clear as possible about:
- the circumstances when you would like your ADRT to apply
- what type of treatment you would want to refuse.
This is to make your wishes clear to anyone reading the document.
An ADRT cannot be used to refuse any basic care you might need to keep you comfortable. This includes warmth, shelter, food and fluids by mouth, and pain control.