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New South Wales

In NSW the components of an Advance Care Plan are:

1. Enduring Guardian

An Enduring Guardian is someone you legally appoint to make lifestyle and health care decisions for you if you can no longer make those decisions for yourself. An enduring guardian could be authorised to make decisions about things such as where you live, the support services you have access to and the treatment you receive.

In NSW, if you are unable to agree (consent) to a treatment, your doctor or health provider must seek consent from what the law calls your ‘person responsible’. There is a specific order of people they must ask. Your ‘person responsible’ is either:

  1. An Enduring Guardian, if none, then
  2. Your most recent and current spouse or de facto spouse (including same sex partner), if none,
  3. An unpaid carer, if none,
  4. Any other relative or friend with a close & continuing relationship.

This means that if you appoint an Enduring Guardian, you can decide who will make those decisions for you.  Your Power of Attorney cannot make medical decisions for you.

2. Advance Care Directive

In NSW there is no set form that you need to complete. You can document your advance care directive in any way. The document is supported under common law, which also means that advance care directives made in other states are recognised in NSW.

More information is available from the NSW Department of Health or from Advance Care Planning Australia.

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