Serious Medical Treatment is defined as giving new treatment, stopping treatment that has already been started or withholding treatment that could be offered in circumstances where:
- A single treatment is proposed and there is a fine balance between the benefits, burdens and risks to the patient
- There is a choice of treatments and the decision as to which one to use is finely balanced
- What is proposed is likely to have serious consequences for the person
Examples of SMT may include Chemotherapy, major surgery, ECT for non-detained patients or decisions about withdrawing/withholding life sustaining treatments.