Advance health directives play a crucial role in confirming your future requirements, beliefs and values. The COVID-19 outbreak has had a global effect on assistive care. Advanced healthcare directives can help refine and upgrade the quality of end-of-life care and preferences in terms of substitute decision-makers.
What Is An Advanced Healthcare Directive?
An advanced healthcare directive, also known as a living will, is a legal document that can be prepared by any Australian resident over the age of 18. The directive is a legalised version of your advanced care plan and allows you to outline your preferred requirements for future care.
Advanced healthcare directives protect you from the uncertainties of the future and empower you to live your life according to your wishes. In a crisis, for example, an advanced healthcare directive will help people make the right choices for you even if you are unable to communicate. However, while advanced healthcare directives are used to make personal decisions, they cannot be used to make financial decisions.
Making an advanced healthcare directive is a personal choice, and it’s entirely up to your discretion if you want to make one or not. If you wish to change your advanced healthcare directive at any time, you can do so by simply creating a new directive form.
What Are Some of the Reasons to Have an Advanced Health Directive?
There are several benefits to having legal advanced health directives:
- You can decide on your preferred treatments in case of health problems in the future. The directive will act as an advisory even if you are unable to speak for yourself.
- Your family or loved ones will find it easier to make decisions on your behalf, knowing that they are complying with your wishes. Healthcare professionals are also obliged under law to follow the guidance provided in an advanced healthcare directive.
- You can enjoy better peace of mind as you can create, amend or cancel the directives at any time.
Steps to Create an Advanced Healthcare Directive
Advanced healthcare directive forms are available online or with your lawyer. Please ensure that you fill out the correct form for your state and area.
You need to get the directive signed by an independent witness above the age of 19. Please note that the form cannot be signed by the person named as the substitute or their spouse/partner. It cannot be signed by your spouse or partner either.
The healthcare directive comes into effect when you lose the capacity to make decisions either temporarily or permanently. If you have made a Power of Attorney document and if there’s a conflict of interest, the medical professionals must respect the most recent document.
As a trusted legal firm in Sydney, our experienced team at Owen Hodge Lawyers provides reliable guidance to clients looking to create advanced healthcare directives. Selecting the right form and making the right choices can make a significant difference to your end-of-life care and wellbeing.