Making decisions about treatment - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is prompting many of us to think about the treatment and care we receive at the end of life. Over the next few months many people will need to be taken to hospital and be given medical treatment to keep them alive.

You can read more about the treatments and what might happen to you in hospital and critical care on this website developed by the Royal College of Physicians and partners.

If you have an opinion about what you would or would not want to happen to you, it’s really important to tell your family and doctor, and write it down. It’s much better to do this now, while you have time to think about it and are able to talk to those close to you than when you are seriously ill.

For example, some of the people we support would like to be given all medical treatment to help them get better if they become seriously ill. Others do not want to have certain medical treatments and would rather:

  • stay at home
  • only receive treatment aimed at keeping them comfortable and pain-free
  • make sure their life is not artificially prolonged

If you would like to be given all treatment available then you can write this in an advance statement.

If you would like to refuse treatment, you can communicate these wishes by making an advance decision, also known as a living will or advance directive. The pages that follow explain how to do this.

Page last reviewed: 7 April 2020
Next review due: 7 April 2021