Information for professionals
An Advance Care Directive is a legal form that allows people over the age of 18 years to:
- write down their wishes, preferences and instructions for future health care, end of life, living arrangements and personal matters and/or
- appoint one or more Substitute Decision-Makers to make these decisions on their behalf when they are unable to do so themselves.
Being a person’s Substitute Decision-Maker is an important role. By signing the Advance Care Directive Form you are stating that you agree to be the person’s Substitute Decision-Maker and that you understand your role and responsibilities. Before you sign, make sure you understand what types of decisions you will be able to make and how the person wants you to make those decisions for them.
Read the Substitute Decision Makers guide here.
A wide range of people are able to witness an Advance Care Directive however it is important to remember that you must be independent of the person giving the Advance Care Directive. It is your choice whether you witness a person’s Advance Care Directive. Check the list of authorised witnesses to see if you meet the requirements.
As an authorised witness you are also able to certify copies of a person’s Advance Care Directive.
All Advance Care Directives need to be written in English to make sure health practitioners and others are able to read them when they need to be used. If a person is unable to read or write in English they may use a professional interpreter or ask a friend or family member to help them give their Advance Care Directive.
If you are independent of the person, and meet the requirements of an authorised witness you will also able to witness and/or certify copies of a person’s Advance Care Directive.