Document your wishes

Page last updated: 04 September 2017

A great place to start is Advance Care Planning (ACP). ACP is an on-going process of shared planning for current and future health care. It involves talking about your values, beliefs and preferences so they can guide decision-making when you cannot make or communicate your decisions.

Everyone should consider ACP, regardless of age or health. It can be particularly important to individuals with an advanced chronic illness, a life-limiting illness, and those people who are planning for retirement or those at risk of living with declining cognition.

You may wish to formalise your ACP through an Advance Care Directive (ACD). An ACD is a type of written ACP. It is recognised by common law or specific legislation and is completed and signed by a competent adult.

The ACD can record your preferences for future care and appoint a substitute decision maker if you are unable to make or communicate your decisions. The ACD would then be used to guide the decisions made by the medical staff in consultation with your appointed substitute decision maker and family.

Learn more on how to document your wishes.

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