Professionals | Contact us | Email icon Twitter icon
Call our free information line
0800 999 2434

Making treatment decisions and planning ahead in Northern Ireland

You are here: Home » Making decisions and planning your care » Making treatment decisions and planning ahead in Northern Ireland

This section provides information on making your wishes for treatment and care known if you live Northern Ireland.

Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland)

The Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) was passed on 9th May 2016 but hasn’t come into force yet. The Act will provide a framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack capacity. It will also allow people to plan ahead by creating a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare or legally binding Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (Living Will).

This information will be updated with more information as soon as the Act comes into force.


If you live in England or Wales, read our information about making decisions about treatment and care or planning ahead. We also have information about making treatment decisions and planning ahead if you live in Scotland .

6.1 How are treatment and care decisions made in Northern Ireland?

You can make decisions about your treatment and care with the help of your doctor. You also have the right to refuse any medical treatment.

6.2 What happens if I can’t make decisions about my treatment and care and live in Northern Ireland?

If you can’t make decisions for yourself, it’s called not having ‘capacity’. If you lack capacity, the healthcare professional in charge of your care will make treatment decision on your behalf.

6.3 Making my wishes for treatment and care known in Northern Ireland

If you have ideas about what kind of treatment you would want to refuse or accept in specific circumstances, then an Advance Decision (Living Will) may help to ensure your wishes are followed.