Answers to our MDU summer quiz

Throughout the summer we tested your knowledge of advance decisions with a medico-legal quiz based on popular guidance and advice from our website.

Find out the answers below and take a look at the guidance on which each question was based.

How old does a patient need to be in order to make an advance decision?

  • At least 16
  • At least 18 (correct answer)
  • At least 21

Patients who make an advance decision should review it with a healthcare professional:

  • Every year
  • Every 3 years
  • There is no requirement to review an advance decision (correct answer)

For guidance, see Advance decisions: legal update.

If an advance decision relates to refusal of life-sustaining treatment, the decision must:
  • Be made in writing (correct answer)
  • Be discussed with the patient’s GP
  • Clearly state which treatment the patient wants to refuse (correct answer)
  • Be signed and witnessed (correct answer)
  • Be discussed with the patient’s close family 
For guidance, see Decision to refuse treatment.

An advance decision will not be applicable to the treatment in question if:

  • It is not the treatment specified in the advance decision (correct answer)
  • The circumstances are different from those set out in the advance decisions (correct answer)
  • The patient has acted in a way that is clearly inconsistent with the advance decision (correct answer)
  • There are reasonable grounds for believing that there have been changes in circumstances which would have affected a patient’s advance decision (correct answer)

For guidance, see Mental Capacity Act.

Do all advance decisions need to be made in writing?
  • Yes
  • No (correct answer)

For guidance, see Decision to refuse treatment.

In the case An advance decision to refuse antibiotic treatment’ a GP member contacted the MDU about the validity of an advance decision. In the outcome, was the GP satisfied that the patient did not have capacity?
  • Yes (correct answer)
  • No
Read the full case study in the MDU app.


This page was correct at publication on 22/10/2019. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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