Medical treatment: consent and withdrawal


It is for the patient to decide whether or not to receive medical treatment even if refusal means his or her life would be at risk. It is the patient’s right of self-determination.

A mentally competent patient can refuse life-saving treatment if they wish to.

Any refusal of treatment must be clear, voluntary and unambiguous in order to be effective. 

In case of uncertainly, a prudent medical practitioner should refer the matter to the Court. Unless there are clear terms/words indicating refusal of treatment, the Court would normally rule in favour of the preservation of life.