Expertise

Advance Care Directives and Medical Treatment Decision Makers

What is a medical treatment decision maker?

The role of your medical treatment decision maker(“MTDM”) is to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf if you do not have the capacity to do so.

Whilst you have capacity to make your own decisions, your appointed MDTM has no role or status. A decision by your MDTM has the same effect as if you had capacity and had made the decision yourself.

A medical treatment decision maker who is required to make a decision may access your necessary medical records to make a properly informed decision. This is the only circumstance in which an MDTM may access your medical records.

Your MDTM must abide by your Advance Care Directive statement.

What is an Advance Care Directive?

An Advance Care Directive is a written statement to your doctors or appointed Medical Treatment Decision Maker about your personal preferences relating to your medical treatment care after you lose decision making capacity.

You may only create an Advance Care Directive if you have decision-making capacity in relation to each statement in your Advance Care Directive.

Therefore, you must understand the nature and effect of the treatment about which you are making decisions.

The Advance Care Directive will only take effect at a time when you no longer have capacity to make a medical treatment decision that needs to be made. Until this time, you will continue to make you own medical treatment decisions at the time treatment is offered.

There are two different types of statements you may include in your Advance Care Directive; an instructional directive and/or a values directive.

  • In an instructional directive, you may either consent to or refuse a particular medical treatment. If you later do not have capacity to make a decision about that treatment, then your instructional directive will apply as though you had consented to or refused the treatment. The instructions in your written directive are binding on your medical practitioners and medical treatment decision maker.
  • In a values directive, you may make more general statements about your preferences and values and what matters to you. If there is not an instructional directive, then the health practitioner will need to obtain consent from a medical treatment decision maker (see below) to provide treatment. The medical treatment decision maker must consider a values directive.

At David Davis, we’re experts with Advance Care Directives and preparing your Appointment of a Medical Treatment Decision Maker. Call now to arrange an appointment to have your ACD and MDTM documents prepared.