Making your future health care wishes known

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Making your future health care wishes known

What would happen if you couldn’t make decisions about your personal health care? Who would make the decisions for you? What care would you want? How do you ensure your health care wishes are upheld?

In 2016 the Victorian Government provided for individuals to make an Advanced Care Directive that is legally binding on the medical profession. This document allows you to record your preferences for future medical treatment should you not be able to communicate or make your own decisions. Your choices can be based on personal beliefs, religious or other reasons and will guide medical treatment decisions.

An Aged Care Directive is not the appointment of a medical power of attorney but a clear binding expression to ensure your wishes are followed by family, friends and health practitioners. You can record general statements about your views and values regarding medical decisions, or record instructions to consent to, or refuse, specific types of treatment.

Making your wishes and beliefs known is an important way of ensuring your future well-being and dignity. Completing an Advanced Care Directive form helps ensure you receive care that is consistent with your goals, beliefs, values and preferences. It lets people know what is important to you about the level of health care and quality of life you want if, for some reason, you are unable to participate in the discussion. It gives your family peace of mind that your wishes will be followed and relieves them of the stress of having to make important treatment decisions.

You never know when someone might get sick and unable to make their own decisions. We recommend you take steps today to make future care wishes known for both you and family members.

Things to consider when completing an Advanced Care Directive include:

  1. Think about your wishes
  2. Have conversations with those closest to you, your family and your doctor
  3. Write your wishes down in an Advanced Care Directive form, available at
  4. Keep a copy of your Advanced Care Directive and provide copies to your family or friends
  5. Review your directive regularly or when your situation changes.

We’re here to help. We can help ensure your directive matches your goals and values or check your form before signing. Give us a call on (03) 9896 5100.