FAQ Advance healthcare directives

This is not a term in the 2015 Act. The Decision Support Service uses the term ‘decision-supporter’ to refer to a person who has been appointed as a:

  • decision-making assistant under a decision-making assistance agreement
  • co-decision-maker under a co-decision-making agreement
  • decision-making representative under a decision-making representation order
  • attorney under an enduring power of attorney
  • designated healthcare representative under an advance healthcare directive.

The type of support they can provide depends on the decision support arrangement in place.

Ideally, a decision supporter will be a family member or trusted friend.

At the upper tier of support, the person may not have someone who is available and suitable to act as a decision-making representative. The Decision Support Service will recruit and maintain a panel of people who are suitable to act as decision-making representatives. The court can ask us to nominate two decision-making representatives from this panel and the court can choose to appoint one of them.

You can find out more about decision supporters under each agreement by clicking on the link to our Services page.

If you wish to plan ahead, you can make an advance healthcare directive. This lets you set out your wishes regarding treatment decisions in case you are unable to make these decisions in the future. Importantly, it lets you write down any treatment you do not want.

Under the new law, you will be able to appoint someone you know and trust as your designated healthcare representative to ensure your advance healthcare directive is followed.

You can find out more by clicking on the lint to our Advance Healthcare Directives section.

You can end your advance healthcare directive at any time if you have capacity to do so. You can also change your advance healthcare directive. Your advance healthcare directive only starts to apply if you lose capacity. It can be a good idea to review and update your advance healthcare directive on a regular basis to ensure that it reflects your wishes.

You should also review and update it following any major medical treatment or diagnoses to ensure it reflects your medical situation and your will and preferences.

An advance healthcare directive must be made in writing and signed by you, two witnesses, and by your designated healthcare representative, if you decide to have one.  

You can write down any treatments you wish to refuse and the circumstances in which this should apply.  

You can include requests for specific treatments. Requests for treatments are not legally binding. However, by including them you can make sure they are considered during any related decision-making process.  

Advance Healthcare Directive Form

Download the Advance Health Directive Form at the link Advance Healthcare Directive Interactive Form