If you become seriously ill or unconscious or are no longer able to make decisions, you may be unable to communicate your healthcare decisions.
An advance health directive allows you to plan what medical treatment or health care you would like in the event that you cannot make decisions for yourself. You can even appoint an attorney for health matters.
Once you have a directive, it is recommended you provide copies to your doctor, family and friends and carry a card with you to this effect so that medical staff can refer to the document when needed.
The Department of Justice and Attorney-General’s website has information on:
- When and how to make an advance health directive
- Relevant information to include
- How to change or revoke a directive
If you do not have an advance health directive and appoint an attorney to look after your health-related matters if you become incapacitated, a statutory health attorney will automatically be appointed.
This type of attorney is automatically assigned base don their relationship to you.
To ensure ease of mind and minimise the risk of legal issues, it is recommended everyone have an advance health directive.