Signing and witnessing your Advance Decision
If your Advance Decision contains a refusal of life-sustaining treatment then you must sign it in the presence of a witness for it to be valid.If you are unable to sign the form, you can ask someone else to sign it on your behalf in your presence. If you do this:
- the person signing should write a statement next to the signature explaining that you have directed them to sign on your behalf
- your witness cannot be the same person who signed the form on your behalf
Your witness can be anyone over the age of 18. If possible, it is a good idea to make sure your witness is not a close relative, partner, anyone who will inherit your money or property after your death, or your attorney (the person appointed to make decisions on your behalf through a Lasting Power of Attorney). This is to avoid someone later questioning if you were put under pressure to make your Advance Decision.
Your witness should watch you sign your Advance Decision. They should then sign and write their name, address and relationship to you in the space provided. They are witnessing you signing your Advance Decision, and that your signature confirms the wishes you have written in it. The witness is not confirming that you have capacity to make the decisions in the form.