GPs must pass on patient’s advance decisions to hospitals

David Metz | 3rd May 2019 | Feature post

The British Medical Journal of 29 March 2019 reported the outcome of a case in which the High Court judge told GPs that if they have in their files an advance decision on treatment made by a patient before losing capacity, they must pass it on to any hospital treating the patient.

The judge was making a ruling that a patient in a persistent vegetative state who had been kept alive for three years, despite an advance decision refusing all treatment, should have treatment withdrawn and be allowed to die. The GP had held the advance decision on file but did not pass it on to the hospital.

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