The provisions relating to the existence, validity and applicability of advance decisions, and especially those relating to life-sustaining treatment, are some of the most important in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The penalties for failing to comply with the procedural requirements can result in the overriding by the court of what may appear to be clear and strongly-held views expressed by P before the onset of incapacity. The importance of getting advance decisions right as a broader aspect of advance care planning has only been reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pressures that this placed upon the healthcare system. This paper updates an earlier paper from 2012 to examine the statutory provisions in detail in light of the cases decided since then.
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