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Patients have the right to use an Advance Directive, which is defined in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights as "a written or oral directive - a) By which a consumer makes a choice about a possible future health care procedure; and b) That is intended to be effective only when he or she is not competent".
The NZMA has produced information about Advanced Directives in line with the Code, and we have sample forms that can be used by patients.
The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) has produced an Advance Directive which allows people with mental illness to specify what treatment they agree to, and what treatment they do not consent to receive, if they become unwell in the future. For more information on Advance Directives, visit the HDC website.