The Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) is a service provided by our office. We help people to work through disagreements about health, accommodation, and lifestyle decisions.

The Advance Care Directives Act 2013 and the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 say how we can help.

Our Dispute Resolution process is:

  • Voluntary
  • Confidential
  • Future-focused.

How can the DRS help me?

The DRS can:

  • Give information to help people to understand their rights and obligations under Advance Care Directives (ACDs).
  • Give information to help people understand and apply the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act.
  • Help decision-makers to uphold the wishes stated in Advance Care Directives.
  • Help people to identify issues that are in dispute.
  • Assist with exploring all the options to resolve the dispute.
  • Help people to communicate openly about decision-making and disagreements.
  • Facilitate mediations and family meetings.
  • Help people to avoid the Tribunal process.

Who can apply for dispute resolution?

  • The person who the decision is about.
  • A substitute decision-maker appointed under an Advance Care Directive.
  • A parent or guardian of the child (if there is a health or consent dispute that relates to a child (under 16 years old).
  • A relative of the person.
  • If the person is a patient, and they are unable to make a particular decision for themselves, a person responsible for the patient.
  • A health practitioner who is involved in providing health care to the person.
  • Any other person who the Public Advocate believes has a “proper interest” in the life of the person, and the dispute.

Applying for Dispute Resolution

You can apply for Dispute Resolution if:

  • a person has made an Advance Care Directive (This includes an Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney, or Anticipatory Direction made before July 1 2014)
  • there is a dispute about healthcare, or consent to medical or dental treatment
  • there is a disagreement about decisions or decision-makers.

Download our DRS application form

More information

Related fact sheets

Dispute Resolution Service fact sheet (PDF, 487.8 KB)

Dispute Resolution Service application form (PDF, 690.9 KB)

Quick questions about DRS

The DRS gives information to help people understand their rights and obligations under the Advance Care Directives Act and the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act.

We also facilitate mediations and family meetings to help people communicate about decision-making and disagreements.

If there is no agreement reached, then the parties can choose to apply to SACAT for orders to be made.

It might not be appropriate to mediate if there is evidence of elder abuse or if there is a risk to someone’s safety.

No! It is voluntary to participate in our process.

We will include the protected person as much as possible. We will try to obtain their wishes/views on the situation. Our staff will not cause any undue stress to the person.

Yes, whatever you say to the mediator is confidential unless you agree for information to be shared.