Advance care planning is…

About advanced care planning and how it can help

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance care planning involves planning for your future health care. It enables you to make some decisions now about the health care you would or would not like to receive if you were to become seriously ill and unable to communicate your preferences or make treatment decisions.

Advance care planning helps to ensure your loved ones and health providers know what matters most to you and respect your treatment preferences.

Advance Care Directive

About Advance Care Directives

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.

How can it be used?

Your Advance Care Directive only takes effect (can only be used) if you are unable to make your own decisions, whether temporarily or permanently.

If you cannot:

  • understand information about the decision
  • understand and appreciate the risks and benefits of the choices
  • remember the information for a short time; and
  • tell someone what the decision is and why you have made the decision.

It means you are unable to make the decision (sometimes called impaired decision-making capacity) and someone else will need to make the decision for you.

Start a Discussion

Working out what’s right for you.

Palliative Care Australia’s (PCA) Discussion Starter series and Card packs have been developed to reach into communities to normalise early conversations about the end-of-life, rather than waiting until more time-critical or medical-focused discussions need to occur. The resources have been developed to help Australians work out what’s right for them if they were to become very sick or at the end of their lives.