What medical care would you want, or not want, if something should happen to you such that you could not adequately communicate your wishes?
This situation could arise at any time, and could be temporary or permanent - e.g. an accident, severe stroke, coma or dementia.
On July 1st 2014 a new Act came into force in South Australia which allows you to appoint up to three "Substitute Decision Makers" to make these treatment decisions on your behalf, but only in circumstances where you are unable to adequately communicate.
This new Act supersedes the Medical Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian laws. However, existing appointments made under the old laws remain valid and in place unless new appointments are made under the July 2014 Act.
The decisions that "Substitute Decision Makers" make about your care are legally binding.
The link below is to the Advanced Care Directives website which explains:
The forms for the Advanced Care Directives can be completed online (and then downloaded for witnessing), downloaded from the website as a blank document, or purchased in hard copy as a kit.
Note: The Information tab on the website provides a lot of information about what should be considered for inclusion in the Advanced Directives document.
The final document must be witnessed and the witness must ensure that the subject of the Advanced Care Directive fully understands what has been included and that there has been no coercion in what they have directed.
The Kit also includes a wallet card so that the "Substitute Decision Makers" can be identified and contacted should the need arise. The card can also help inform those caring for you that Advanced Directives are in place.
Having Advanced Care Directives in place is to be encouraged as it is a means to try and ensure that the care you receive is the care that you would wish to receive.
note : Advanced Care Directives do NOT cover financial affairs - an Enduring Power of Attorney should also be appointed to look after your financial affairs.
CLICK HERE for the link to the Advanced Care Directives website