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Advance care planning

Footprints in the sand

You never know what the future holds 

Advance care planning is an opportunity to think about, discuss and record your preferences for the care you wish to receive should you become seriously ill or injured and be unable to communicate or make decisions. It may  include nominating a Person Responsible or appointing an enduring guardian, an enduring power of attorney, completing an advance care directive and writing a will.

Access the links below to get a better understanding of advance care planning and the processes involved.

An Advance Care Directive is a document written by you, describing your future health care wishes should you become seriously ill or injured and unable to communicate. It involves recording your values, beliefs and health preferences, so that doctors and treating teams are able to provide the care that matches your wishes.

A Person Responsible is someone nominated to make medical/dental decisions on your behalf if you are unable to communicate or make your own decisions.  They are also known as a ‘substitute decision maker’. 

The following video outlines the importance of preparing an advance care directive and identifying a Person Responsible.

In NSW an Advance Care Plan is created by someone else on behalf of or in consultation with a person who is unable to make decisions for themselves. An Advance Care Plan may guide care decisions but is not legally binding.

In NSW an Advance Care Directive is something you create for yourself while you have capacity. An Advance Care Directive  is legally binding.

Advance care planning in Australia is supported by both statute law (determined by legislation) and common law (determined by judges’ decisions). Visit Advance Care Planning Australia to find out more.

An Advance Care Directive records specific preferences for your future health care. These include, treatments you would accept or refuse if you had a life-threatening illness or injury. It will only be used if you do not have capacity to make decisions for yourself or to communicate your preferences.

In NSW you do not need to use a specific form. You can create an Advance Care Directive simply by writing down your preferences on a piece of paper, signing and dating it.  Please be aware that other states have different requirements.

However, the NSW government has created an Advance Care Directive form which you can access.

The following video guides you through completing your Advance Care Directive (NSW version). 

The following video provides options of what to do with your completed ACD.  You can digitise your Advance Care Directive by uploading it to your MY HEALTH RECORD which is accessible through MYGOV on the internet. You may consider keeping a hard copy ACD in an easily accessible place to guide NSW Ambulance staff in the event of an emergency.

PLEASE NOTE: The video below refers to uploading an advance care planning document which is the same as an Advance Care Directive in NSW.

Planning ahead is really important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Imagine you are looking after someone who’s just got sick and can’t communicate with you anymore. What sort of medical treatment do they want? Where do they want to live? Who do they want to handle their money?

The links below will provide you with further information:

For information on advance care planning in your language visit Advance Care Planning Australia.

By deciding to become an organ and tissue donor, you can transform people’s lives. Around 1,650 people are currently waitlisted for a transplant. A further 12,000 additional people are on dialysis and may benefit from a kidney transplant.

Visit DonateLife to find out more.

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