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Call for contributions for a book on advance decisions to refuse treatment

We are planning a book about Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment (ADRTs). The idea for the book comes from our involvement in an ESRC Seminar Series on Advance Decisions.

The book will be composed of real ADRTs (anonymised as appropriate), each one accompanied by a short reflection by its author about why s/he wrote it, what s/he hopes it will achieve, and observations on particular points in it. We will also commission some commentaries on the ADRTs by various experts, (e.g. lawyers, ethicists and clinicians - including critical care and palliative care experts), and also some commentaries by people who have considered writing an ADRT and decided against doing so. We hope you will consider the possibility of contributing your ADRT - along with some reflections on why you wrote it - for this book.

We are especially keen to cover the full range of ADRTs that people write - including, for example, an ADRT that refuses virtually everything under a wide range of circumstances, through to quite circumscribed ADRTs, through to those that also actively request particular kinds of treatment. We are keen to include ADRTs based on standard templates or tick-box forms - maybe downloaded from the internet or drawn up by solicitors - as well as 'personalised' ADRTs that may perhaps address particular diagnoses you have received or special hopes and fears you want to address. We'd like to include ADRTs that reflect particular religious, humanistic or atheist perspectives. Many ADRTs include 'values statements' (about your philosophy of life, the value you place on independence, autonomy, dignity or family for example) as a way of communicating who you are as a person and the basis for your acceptance or refusal of medical interventions. Those, too would be very welcome. You may also reflect on the life experiences that have shaped your end-of-life decisions - perhaps deaths you have witnessed, relationships you hold dear, or values you want to live (and die) by.

The aim of the book is to contribute to public knowledge about ADRTs and thereby to encourage uptake and implementation. Many people would like to write an ADRT but find the task of doing so overwhelming and don't know how to begin. The book will offer a resource by showing a wide range of different ADRTs (plus professional commentary on them) which people can take as a starting point in writing their own. Instead of facing a blank piece of paper or set of tick-boxes, people reading this book will be able to engage with real ADRTs through which a diverse set of people have tried to shape their own future.

If you are interested in taking part please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at King's College London or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , at the University of York to discuss your contribution in advance of submission. Please also do circulate this call for contributions to anyone else you think might be interested.


Penney Lewis

Professor of Law

Co-Director, Centre of Medical Law and Ethics

Dickson Poon School of Law

King's College London


London WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

020 7848 1103 (tel)

020 7848 2465 (fax)

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