- A psychiatric advance directive (PAD) is a legal document that documents a person’s preferences for future mental health treatment, and allows appointment of a health proxy to interpret those preferences during a crisis.
- PADs may be drafted when a person is well enough to consider preferences for future mental health treatment.
- PADs are used when a person becomes unable to make decisions during a mental health crisis.
The General Laws of Massachusetts do not provide for PADs. However, under the law entitled “Health Care Proxies”, you may appoint an agent to make decisions for you if you are unable to make those decisions yourself. Your agent will have the authority to make any and all health care decisions for you, which could include decisions about psychiatric treatment. To appoint an agent, you must use the form entitled “Massachusetts Health Care Proxy”.