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Psychiatric advance directives: potential challenges in India

Alok Sarin, Pratima Murthy, Sudipto Chatterjee

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2012.031


The advance directive is a statement of an individual’s preference for future treatment. The concept initially evolved in the context of end-of-life treatment decision making. Subsequently, in some countries, advance directives have been promoted in the care and treatment of people with serious mental disorders. They have recently been endorsed by the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disability. In India, the legal framework related to the care of persons with mental illness is currently being reappraised, and significant changes are being contemplated. Thus, this is an appropriate time to review the existing evidence on psychiatric advance directives and examine the potential challenges involved in making them legally binding.

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