Published on Monday, Compassion in Dying said that they were promoted to develop the new resource following enquiries from people who were concerned that their wishes for treatment and care might be ignored because they had a mental illness or a history of mental illness.
The factsheet (which considers the situation in England and Wales) outlines the role of an advance decision in refusing treatment and the benefits of completing one, before explaining the circumstances under which it must and may not be followed. The factsheet also explains how an advance statement can be helpful in planning ahead.
Comedian and actor Jo Brand, a long-time campaigner on both mental health and end of life issues, has got behind the project:
“Stigma and discrimination can mean that people experiencing a mental health problem feel their views, wishes or preferences aren’t taken seriously,” she said.
“I hope this publication produced by Compassion in Dying and Mind will give those with mental health issues the information and confidence to plan their care and feel their wishes will be respected.”
The new factsheet on advance decisions and mental health can be downloaded from the Compassion in Dying website. There is also information on advance decisions and the Mental Capacity Act (which covers how a decision can be made in someone’s best interests when they don’t have the capacity to make it themselves, and how they can plan ahead for that) on Mind’s website.