Can I refuse food and water in my Advance Decision?

You cannot refuse to be offered food and drink by mouth in an Advance Decision because it is considered part of basic care, which healthcare professionals have a duty to provide. This will always be offered to someone who lacks capacity if they are able to swallow.

You can refuse artificial nutrition and hydration in an Advance Decision because this is considered a medical treatment. This is included in our definition of life-sustaining treatment and can include an intravenous drip, a tube through the nose or through a tube directly into the stomach (known as a PEG feed).

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