If you were unable to speak for yourself, who would you want to speak for you? And more importantly, what health care decisions would you want them to make? A professionally drafted Advanced Care Directive will give you that voice and allow you to be heard in the event of a medical incident.
The new Advanced Care Directive forms created by SA Health replaces the older Medical Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship documents. The older documents are still valid, but if you wish to make a change you have to execute the new ACD form.
The new Advanced Care Directive form allow you to make appoint someone to make lifestyle, accommodation and medical decisions for you in the even that you cannot. We have added extensively to the entirely empty default form to set out in plain English:
- options for cascading appointments. ie the spouse, but if not then a child
- directions for the decision maker to consult with relatives. The SA Health forms omit this basic expectation !
- a comprehensive request that you not be kept alive on a machine.
We always provide the person with a draft to discuss with their appointees. These are documents that are sensitive and address end of life wishes. As such, we believe it is important that people have had time to discuss these wishes with their family before executing documents.
An excellent set of FAQ’s regarding Advance Care Planning is set out on the website of Advance Care Planning Australia. This organisation is a national program that encourages people to consider their current and future health goals, values and beliefs.
While it is not necessary to have an Advanced Care Directive drafted by a lawyer, most people will discuss this with us as part of their Estate Planning in conjunction with their Will and Enduring Power of Attorney