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PAD: Psychiatric Advance Directives

PAD: Psychiatric Advance Directives - Departments & Programs, UW Medical Foundation, Patient Resources, Social Work Services Quick Guide, Social Work Manual, Advance Directives


Psychiatric advance directives are relatively new legal instruments that may be used to document a competent person’s specific instructions or preferences regarding future mental health treatment. Psychiatric advance directives can be used to plan for the possibility that someone may lose capacity to give or withhold informed consent to treatment during acute episodes of psychiatric illness.

Laws vary state by state. The Wisconsin statute does not allow you to write advance instructions for your psychiatric care in a freestanding document. However, if you fill out a Power of Attorney for Health Care, you may wish to specify how you would like your health care agent to make decisions for you. 


Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities

Bazelon Center

Duke University Program on Advance Directives

National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives