Advance care planning is important for patients, families and health professionals.
It involves you, your loved ones and health professionals talking about your values and the type of health care you would want to receive if you became seriously ill or injured and were unable to say what you want.
Advance care planning is an important process that helps you plan for future care, for a time when you are not able to make your health care wishes known.
The process involves thinking about your values, beliefs and wishes about the health care you would like to have if you could not make your own decisions.
It is best if advance care planning happens earlier in life, when you are still well.
Medical technology advances mean that there are treatments which may prolong your life, and that can keep you alive when you are seriously ill or injured.
Some people have firm ideas about how they want to live the rest of their life, including conditions that they might find unacceptable.
Choosing who should make decisions for you if you do not have capacity is an important part of advance care planning.
Capacity means that you can understand the information and choices presented; weigh up the information to determine what the decision will mean for you and communicate your decision.
An Advance Care Directive records your specific wishes and preferences for future care. This includes treatments you would accept or refuse if you had a life-threatening illness or injury.
An Advance Care Directive will only be used when you do not have capacity to decide for yourself or to communicate your wishes.
It is recommended your Advance Care Directive be written and signed by you and a witness. An Advance Care Directive is valid and legally binding if:
Advance care directives made in other states and territories are enforceable in NSW.
Yes, it is recommended that you review your directive regularly and following a change in your health.
An Advance Care Directive cannot contain instructions for illegal activities, such as euthanasia, assisted suicide or assisted dying.
In NSW, if you are unable to consent to a medical and/or dental treatment, the health practitioner should seek consent from your ‘person responsible’. The ‘person responsible’ is:
A Power of Attorney cannot make medical or dental decisions for you
For more information and resources visit Advance care planning.