An advance care directive is a legal document that allows you to have a say in what happens to you in the event that you can no longer speak for yourself. The document allows you to appoint one or more persons of your choice to make personal decisions on your behalf if you no longer do so (whether temporarily or permanently). The person appointed will have legal power to make decisions about you and your day to day care including consenting or refusing medical and dental treatment, arranging home care services, where appropriate, and deciding where you will live.
You can also use an advance care directive to make a binding direction about end of life decisions if you feel strongly about this. Making a binding direction ensures that you are able to legally direct your treating doctors now to refuse treatment such as life support, etc. later in situations where you know you would not want further treatment.
An advance care directive also allows you to write down your wishes around your health care, where you wish to live, your day to day care and even your death to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that your wishes are followed by those appointed or otherwise involved in your care.
Until July 2014, there were 3 separate types of advance care directives in South Australia:
- Power of Guardianship
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Anticipatory Direction
From July 2014 onwards, these documents were replaced by advance care directives. However, if you have these documents completed and fully signed prior to that time, they remain valid.
These documents are not just for the elderly. Life is not always predictable, and capacity can be lost at any age due to a range of unexpected events, e.g. car accidents, falls, strokes, etc. At Wills Direct we believe all adults, no matter what age, should have an advance care directive.
Katrina Nitschke of Wills Direct has the knowledge and experience to assist with the preparation of this important document to ensure that you have carefully considered the implications of who to appoint and what to include in the document. She is highly experienced in drafting these documents to ensure that they are clear and that they accurately capture what is most important to you.
Contact Katrina at Wills Direct for more information or to arrange a home visit.