Witnessing and sharing your form - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

You need a witness who should watch you sign your advance decision. They should then sign and date the form. It can be anyone, it does not need to be a GP or solicitor. Until your form has been signed by a witness it is not legally binding.

How to get a witness signature if you are self-isolating

If you are staying at home and away from others because of coronavirus then here is what you can do.

Witness your signature through a window

You can ask someone to watch you sign and date your form through a window, then pass the form through your window or letterbox for them to sign and date it. They should then give the completed form back to you through your window or letterbox.

Make sure you follow GOV.UK advice on things like washing your hands and staying two metres apart.

If you cannot do this

You should write this next to your signature: “I am self-isolating and do not have anyone to act as my witness”. This will not be a legally binding refusal of treatment but it will still be helpful for the doctors treating you and should be used when they make a decision.

Sharing your Advance Decision

It is important to give people a copy if you have made or updated your Advance Decision. The people treating you need to be able to see your Advance Decision to check it meets legal requirements and know what treatments you do not want.

Because of coronavirus, you might find it hard to make a copy of your form or share it. To make a copy, you can take a photo of each page on your phone if you cannot photocopy or scan it. If you can’t give a copy in person you can email or post it.

Give a copy to

  • people who might be contacted if you were ill, such as family or friends
  • your GP surgery and ask them to add it to your medical records
  • anyone else involved in your care, such as your consultant, palliative care team or paid carers

If you live in London or the South East, create a ‘Coordinate My Care’ plan online. You can say you have made an advance decision and, once complete, your plan can be seen by all urgent care services.

If you cannot make a copy

  • keep the original with you at all times
  • tell people who might be contacted if you were ill that you have made an advance decision, and where your form is kept when at home

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