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Consumers’ Experiences of Mental Health Advance Statements

Centre for Social and Global Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne 3001, Australia
Mental Health Legal Centre, Melbourne 3053, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concerns, Contradictions and Reality of Mental Health Law)
PDF [246 KB, uploaded 28 May 2018]


Mental health psychiatric advance directives, advance statements, and similar documents are designed to convey a person’s treatment preferences to their treating clinicians at times when, due to their mental health, their ability to communicate or make decisions might be impaired. This paper explores the current debates in the literature and presents the findings of a small qualitative study that explored the experiences of people who had completed advance statements in Victoria, Australia. Data was collected through interviews with participants and analysis of their advance statement. Participants completed their advance statements for two main reasons; to authorise future treatment or to limit the power of their treating team. Participants also included non-treatment preferences that were linked to their recovery and pragmatic considerations, such as contact details and dietary requirements. Participants who had used their advance statement reported a lack of acceptance or inclusion from clinicians. Further consideration of the legal enforceability of advance statements is necessary, and if they are to continue to lack legal force, much work remains to be done to support acceptance by clinicians. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health; advance statements; psychiatric advance directives; Mental Health Act 2014; Victoria; Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities mental health; advance statements; psychiatric advance directives; Mental Health Act 2014; Victoria; Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Maylea, C.; Jorgensen, A.; Matta, S.; Ogilvie, K.; Wallin, P. Consumers’ Experiences of Mental Health Advance Statements. Laws 2018, 7, 22.

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