Refusal of Medical Treatment
You, or someone appointed to represent you, can refuse medical treatment for a current medical condition by signing a Refusal of Treatment Certificate (the "Certificate").
"Medical treatment" means the carrying out of:
- an operation; or
- the administration of a drug or other like substance; or
- any other medical procedure –
but does not include palliative care.
It is illegal for medical practitioners to continue to treat you if they know that there is a valid Certificate in force.
The refusal of medical treatment does not cover procedures that would be considered palliative care. That is, reasonable pain relief, or food and water whilst you are still able to eat and drink. So, neither you, nor someone appointed to represent you, can use the Certificate to refuse palliative care.
A doctor must witness the signature, and the doctor or hospital/institution manager must give a copy of it to the Tribunal within Seven days.
Form for Competent Patient
Download the Refusal of Treatment form for yourself (mentally competent)—DWDV form 03.
Form for Agent of Incompetent Patient
Download the Refusal of Treatment form for someone else if you are acting as their Agent (mentally incompetent)—DWDV form 04.
Not a Living Will
As the refusal of medical treatment certificate applies only to a current condition and not to an illness or condition that may occur in the future: it may not be used as an "advance directive". The refusal of medical treatment certificate ceases to operate once the circumstances that gave rise to it are no longer relevant.
Can You Change Your Mind?
If you are competent, the Certificate can easily be cancelled at any time by completing and signing the Notice Of Cancellation section at the bottom of DWDV form 03 (see above).