Advance Care Directives - Your wishes for future care
Although you may not like to think about it, there could be times in your life when you are unable to make a decision or properly communicate your wishes on how you’d like to be cared for or treated. It could be for a number of reasons including an accident or mental health episode, or a sudden illness or injury.
If this happened to you, how would you want decisions to be made for you about your ongoing health care, living arrangements or other personal matters? And who would you want to make these decisions for you?
The new Advance Care Directive is an important step forward in planning for health care that came into effect from 1 July 2014. Creating an Advance Care Directive allows you to:
- write down your wishes, preferences and instructions for your future health care, end of life, living arrangements and personal matters; and/or
- appoint one or more Substitute Decision-Makers to make these decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them for yourself.
Having an Advance Care Directive can make it easier for others to know and act upon your wishes if they have to make decisions for you. It can also give you peace of mind that your wishes will be known and be respected if you cannot make these decisions yourself.
You may have heard of documents such as Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney and Anticipatory Direction. If you have completed one or more of these documents in the past they will still be legally effective or you can make a new Advance Care Directive to replace them.
Advance Care Directives - Consumer Stories: Natasha