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Duke University Program on
Psychiatric Advance Directives

  • Psychiatric advance directives (PADs) are relatively new legal instruments that may be used to document a competent personís specific instructions or preferences regarding future mental health treatment, in preparation for the possibility that the person may lose capacity to give or withhold informed consent to treatment during acute episodes of psychiatric illness.
  • All states permit some form of legal advance directive (AD) for healthcare, which can be used in conjunction with at least some forms of psychiatric treatment. In the past decade, twenty states have adopted specific PAD statutes.

  • What are Psychiatric Advance Directives? (MS Word/pdf)

  • Psychiatric Advance Directives: A Clinical Tool? (MS Powerpoint/pdf)

  • Overview of Psychiatric Advance Directives in the United States (MS Word/pdf)

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