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NAMI's Position on Psychiatric Advance Directives

There are many potential benefits to PADs:

  • Allowing consumers to make their own health care decisions;
  • Enhancing communication between consumers, their family and their treatment provider;
  • Allowing for early intervention;
  • Reducing court proceedings regarding involuntary treatment.

The use of advance directives for psychiatric decision making is relatively new, and there are unresolved questions about the use of PADs. Ongoing research projects and pending court decisions should provide more information. In the meantime, PADs should be considered as a way to empower consumers to take a more active role in their treatment, and as a way to avoid conflicts over treatment and medication issues.

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