Advance Care Directives Act 2013

The Advance Care Directives Act 2013  commenced on July 1st 2014.  This Act creates a single advance care directive to replace the existing Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney and Anticipatory Directions documents.  If these documents were made prior to July 1st 2014 they will remain valid and be treated as if they were made under the new Act.    The Advance Care Directives Act 2014 makes  amendments to the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995, the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993, the Coroners Act 2003, the Fair Work Act 1994, the Health and Community Services Act 2004 and the Wills Act 1936.   

The Advance Care Directives Act  2013 will:

  • enable a person to make decisions and give directions in relation to their future health care, accommodation arrangements and personal affairs
  • provide for the appointment of substitute decision-makers to make such decisions on behalf of the person if he or she  is not able to make them due to impaired decision-making capacity.
  • ensure that health care is delivered to the person in a manner consistent with their wishes and instructions
  • facilitate the resolution of disputes relating to advance care directives
  • provide protections for health practitioners and other persons giving effect to an advance care direction

Dispute Resolution Service

The Advance Care Directives Act 2013 and amendments to the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995  confer a dispute resolution role on the Office of the Public Advocate, enabling disputes about an advance care directive or a health issue to be mediated by qualified, professional staff without the need to proceed to the more formal SACAT process.

The Advance Care Directives Act 2013, authorises the Public Advocate to make a declaration about an advance care directive.  Declarations made by the Public Advocate are not binding, but can offer clarity in situations where conflict or doubt exists in relation to an advance care directive.