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Health: Sedation

Volume 713: debated on Tuesday 20 October 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether patients entering NHS care may specify in advance that they do not consent to be treated by continuous deep sedation; and, if so, how. [HL5495]

Yes. A person aged 18 or over who has the capacity to make such a decision may make an advance decision to refuse any treatment and, unless it relates to life-sustaining treatment, may do so verbally or in writing. An advance decision to refuse life-sustaining treatment has to be in writing, be signed and witnessed, and contain clear statements that it applies even if life is at risk. Where a person has made no advance decision and lacks the capacity to consent to a particular form of treatment, healthcare professionals should make decisions based upon the patient's best interests, where practical taking account of the views of those close to them.