Updated SA ACD legislation

30th Nov 2023

Strengthening of laws passed on the 30th November 2023

South Australians have been supported to make decisions about their own future, with the strengthening of laws in Parliament on the 30th November. The passing of the Advanced Care Directives (Review) Bill 2022 will enable people aged 18 years and older to give clear legal directions about their own future health care, living arrangements and other personal matters.

Advanced Care Directives play a vital role in ensuring that individuals’ healthcare preferences are respected, promoting dignity, autonomy, and peace of mind during critical medical situations

said Chris Picton, Minister for Health and Wellbeing.

The new provisions as amendements to the Advanced Care Directives Act 2013

  • Providing greater confidence for clinicians in relying on the validity of digital copies of Advance Care Directives
  • Strengthening safeguards for the use of interpreters where English is not the first language of the person making the Advance Care Directive
  • Clearer requirements for appointing Substitute Decision-Makers
  • Clarifying the effect of Advance Care Directives in the case of suspected suicide or self-harm, and ensuring additional safeguards are in place to protect the community
  • Supporting the resolution of disputes by the Public Advocate and clarifying when relevant matters should be referred to the SA Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
  • Safeguards for clinical decision making in circumstances of apparent suicide or self-harm where an advance care directive is in place.

The appointment of one or more adults known as Substitute Decision-Makers to make decisions on your behalf will now be better informed on personal preferences as directed.

The redesigned Advanced Care Directive kit will be launched following the making of the regulations in 2024 and made available at Services SA.

Helen Chalmers, Executive Director, Health Services Programs

Helen also encourages all South Australians who would like to learn more about Advanced are Directives to visit the SA Health website for more details.