Audio transcript – Your choices to make an Advance Health Directive, appoint an enduring guardian

Your choices to make an Advance Health Directive, appoint an enduring guardian from the Government of Western Australia.

Advance Health Directives and Enduring Powers of Guardianship enable you to plan for future personal, lifestyle and treatment decision-making.

A joint initiative of the Department of Health and the Office of the Public Advocate.

What is an Advance Health Directive and what can it offer you?

  • An Advance Health Directive is a legal document in which you set out your decisions about your future medical, surgical or dental treatment and other health care, including palliative care and life-sustaining measures.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age and able to make your own decisions to make an Advance Health Directive.
  • You can give or withhold consent for treatments that you specify.
  • Your Advance Health Directive will only be used if and when you become unable to make a treatment decision for yourself.
  • Any decisions you make in your Advance Health Directive must be followed by health professionals except in very limited circumstances.
  • If you do not have an applicable or valid Advance Health Directive, the legislation sets out who will be asked to make treatment decisions on your behalf.
  • You may make an Advance Health Directive as part of your advance care planning process. Advance care planning may assist in the development of an advance care plan, Advance Health Directive and the appointment of an enduring guardian.
  • For more information or to obtain the Advance Health Directive form, contact the Department of Health (contact details overleaf).

What is an Enduring Power of Guardianship and what can it offer you?

An Enduring Power of Guardianship is a legal document in which you appoint one or more persons as enduring guardian to make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions on your behalf.

You must be at least 18 years of age and able to make your own decisions to make an Enduring Power of Guardianship.

Your Enduring Power of Guardianship will only be used if and when you become unable to make decisions for yourself.

You should appoint someone you know and trust. For example, your spouse/partner, other relative or close friend.

You should ensure your enduring guardian is aware of your personal beliefs and preferences about your lifestyle.

You choose the decisions your enduring guardian will be able to make, such as where you live and what treatment and services you receive.

If you make an Advance Health Directive this will take priority over the decisions of your enduring guardian for the treatment stated in the document.

For more information or to obtain the Enduring Power of Guardianship form, contact the Office of the Public Advocate (contact details overleaf).

What is the process for making treatment decisions?

A treatment decision is a decision to consent to or refuse a treatment. If you are 18 years of age or older and capable of making your own decisions, you make your own treatment decisions.

If you are unable to make decisions for yourself and non-urgent treatment is needed, treatment decisions will be made according to the ‘hierarchy of decision makers’ on the next page.

If you do not have an appropriate or valid Advance Health Directive, the health professional will seek a treatment decision from the first person on the list who is 18 years of age or older, has full legal capacity and is willing and available to make the decision.

What if you need urgent treatment?

If urgent treatment is required to save your life or prevent unnecessary pain, health professionals can provide this treatment without seeking consent. However they will need to seek consent for ongoing treatment.

Hierarchy of decision makers

Advance Health Directive

Decisions must be made in accordance with the AHD unless circumstances have changed or could not have been foreseen by the maker.

Leading to
Enduring guardian with authority

Leading to
Guardian with authority

Leading to
Spouse or de facto

Leading to
Adult son or daughter

Leading to
Parent

Leading to
Sibling

Leading to
Primary unpaid caregiver

Leading to
Other person with close personal relationship

Resources are available to help you to make an Advance Health Directive or to appoint an Enduring Guardian.

For further information about Advance Health Directives contact:

Office of the Chief Medical Officer
Department of Health
T: (08) 9222 2300
E: advancehealthdirective@health.wa.gov.au
W: www.health.wa.gov.au/advancehealthdirective (external site)

For further information about Enduring Powers of Guardianship and appointing an enduring duardian contact:

The Office of the Public Advocate
T: 1300 858 455

F: (08) 9278 7333
E: opa@justice.wa.gov.au
W: www.publicadvocate.wa.gov.au (external site)

Statement of copyright

This document can be made available in alternative formats on request for a person with a disability.

Office of the Public Advocate, Delivering a Healthy WA.

This is the end of Your choices to make an Advance Health Directive, appoint an Enduring Guardian from the Government of Western Australia.

Narrated by Sue Wallwork


Acknowledgements

Cancer and Palliative Care Network


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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