What is an Advance Health Directive?

There may come a time when you are unable to make decisions regarding your health care.

An Advance Health Directive allows you to record your wishes and give directions about your future health care should you ever lose the capacity to do so.  It will speak for you if ever you cannot speak for yourself about your wishes.

These wishes could include whether you do or do not want life sustaining measures.

Why is it important?

If you don’t have an Advance Health Directive and you lose the capacity to make decisions about the health care and treatment you receive, it becomes necessary for your guardian or attorney to make decisions on your behalf.  This can result in you receiving health care that you would not have chosen to receive.

An Advance Health Directive is the simple way to ensure your wishes are followed in legally binding directions.

Planning ahead

Anyone over the age of 18 can make an Advance Health Directive, however it is particularly important if:

  • you are about to be admitted to hospital
  • your medical condition is likely to affect your ability to make decisions
  • you have a chronic medical condition that could result in serious complications such as diabetes, asthma and heart or kidney disease.

Your Advance Health Directive will only commence when and if you lose the capacity to make health decisions for yourself.

Getting advice

Our team of Elder Law specialists can assist you to prepare an Advance Health Directive which is appropriate for your individual circumstances.

You should also discuss your Advance Health Directive with your lawyer, your doctor, family and friends.

Click here to download a copy of our Advance Health Directive brochure.