Here is how your advance health directive and Medical Care.
Getting older is a part of life that no-one can avoid, so it’s worth thinking about the medical treatment you wish to receive if you lose the capacity to make such a choice for yourself.
Who can make decisions regarding your health care?
If you have the capacity, your Doctor should discuss treatment options with you, but what happens if you or someone you care for suffers a life-limiting illness, such as dementia?
In Queensland, an Advance Health Directive can be put in place to specify your wishes in relation to your future medical care. This document provides different scenarios in relation to your level of health. It allows you to select whether you do or do not want certain treatments, such as resuscitation, ventilation and artificial feeding. You can also state any other wishes you have regarding your day-to-day care, such as whether you want medication when your quality of life declines.
Requirements of an Advance Health Directive
The Advance Health Directive must be:
- A written document;
- Signed by the person making the document;
- Signed and dated by an eligible witness; and
- Signed and dated by a Doctor.
Once made, you should provide your Doctor and close family members with a copy of the completed document. If you are admitted to the hospital, a copy of the Advance Health Directive should also be provided to be held with your records.
Advance Health Directives do not have a time limit; however, you should review the document regularly and update it if your wishes change. You can revoke or amend your Advance Health Directive at any time while you have the capacity to understand the nature and effect of the document.
Where someone has little or no prospect of a cure, palliative care aims to optimise the quality of life. Changes in your independence and mobility can be challenging, but planning for the future with your medical and legal advisors can help ease the worry. Planning can allow you to live as well as possible within the limitation of illness, so it’s important to think about the choices that matter to you.
Obtaining further information about end of life concerns can help with making decisions. People have their own beliefs and values about death and dying, and we see the importance of those values being upheld.
Letting your close family members and Doctors know your wishes can make such difficult decisions a little easier by planning and getting your estate planning documents in place before it is too late.
We can assist with arranging visits to homes, aged care facilities or hospitals if someone is unable to attend at our office for an appointment to make an Advance Health Directive, Enduring Power of Attorney or to update your Will. We can also arrange appointments by telephone or video.
If you are caring for someone with a life-limiting illness, some organisations may be able to help with palliative care support and respite care. Please visit the following links for further information – www.carergateway.gov.au; www.palassist.org.au .
Fill in the form to talk to our Estate Planning lawyers regarding your Advance Health Directive, EPOA and Will.