Coronavirus Update: Ethics Considerations, Guidance and Resources.
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Psychiatric advance directives are legal documents completed by individuals living with mental illness to document preferences for future treatment in advance of a health crisis. These documents should be completed at a time of wellness when a person is able to think about their preferences and priorities for future mental health treatments.
While there is no special advance directive for psychiatric care in Vermont, the Long Form Advance Directive or Disability Rights Vermont Form may be helpful to document what to do if a person loses capacity to give or withhold consent for treatment during an acute episode of a psychiatric illness.
There may be situations in which you could anticipate objecting to or requesting treatment at a time of incapacity and would want your objections or requests to be disregarded (Part 6 of the Long Form Advance Directive).
Because this is a basic right that all patients have (to refuse treatment) unless a court orders otherwise, such a decision requires careful thought. Additional signatures and assurances will be needed if you include this type of provision in your advance directive.
For your health care agent to be able to make healthcare decisions over your objection, you will need to: