Advanced Directive Care

An Advanced Care Directive (ACD) is a legal document that allows individuals to express their wishes and preferences regarding their future medical treatment and care. An ACD enables people to have control over their healthcare decisions in situations where they may lack capacity or be unable to communicate their preferences.

Here are some key points to understand about Advanced Care Directives in South Australia:

  1. Purpose: The primary purpose of an Advanced Care Directive is to provide clear instructions and guidance to healthcare professionals and family members about the individual’s medical treatment preferences, end-of-life decisions, and other healthcare matters.
  2. Legal framework: Advanced Care Directives are governed by the Advance Care Directives Act 2013 (SA) and the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 (SA). These laws establish the requirements and procedures for creating and implementing an ACD in South Australia.
  3. Contents of an ACD: An Advanced Care Directive typically includes the following information:
    • The person’s values, beliefs, and treatment preferences
    • Instructions about specific medical treatments, interventions, or procedures they would like or refuse
    • Guidance on end-of-life decisions, such as the use of life-sustaining measures, palliative care, or organ donation
    • Appointment of a substitute decision-maker (if desired) to make healthcare decisions on their behalf
  4. Creating an ACD: To create an Advanced Care Directive in South Australia, the individual must be over 18 years old and have decision-making capacity. The document must be in writing, signed, and witnessed by two independent witnesses. The witnesses must not be related to the person and must certify that the person appeared to understand the nature and effect of the ACD.
  5. Implementing the ACD: An Advanced Care Directive becomes legally binding when the person loses decision-making capacity or is unable to communicate their healthcare preferences. Healthcare professionals are obligated to follow the instructions outlined in the ACD to the extent that they are applicable and consistent with good medical practice.
  6. Review and Revocation: It is advisable to review an Advanced Care Directive periodically, especially if circumstances or preferences change. The document can be amended or revoked at any time, provided the person has decision-making capacity. Any updated version should be communicated to healthcare providers and family members to ensure its implementation when needed.

It is essential to consult with a qualified legal professional or healthcare provider when creating an Advanced Care Directive in South Australia. At Enlight Legal & Migration we can guide you on the legal requirements, assist with drafting the document, and ensure that it complies with the relevant laws and addresses your specific healthcare preferences and circumstances.

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