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Advance Health Directive
The time may come when you are unable to speak or make decisions for yourself in relation to the health care you receive.
By making an advance health directive, you can record your wishes and directions regarding your future health care and have confidence that they will be followed if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself.
What is an advance health directive?
An advance health directive is a document by which you can set out your wishes and directions regarding the treatment you will receive for various medical conditions in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Why make an advance health directive?
If you do not have an advance health directive, then if you lose the capacity to make health care decisions for yourself, it would be necessary for your attorney or guardian to make decisions as to the type of care and treatment you receive. This might potentially result in you receiving care and treatment which is different from that which you would have chosen. An advance health directive allows you to bind your attorney or guardian to follow your wishes as to the type of health care you are given.
What do I need to consider?
In making an advance health directive, you need to carefully consider what sort of medical treatment you want to receive if you become ill and lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. This involves considering matters such as:
- How important is it to you to be able to communicate with your family and friends?
- If medical treatment could prolong your life, what level of quality of life would be acceptable to you?
- Do you have any religious beliefs that might affect the treatment you want to receive?
- What sort of treatment would you want to receive if you are suffering from a terminal, incurable or irreversible illness or condition?
- Do you have any wishes regarding organ donation?
When does an advance health directive commence?
Your advance health directive will only commence when, if ever, you lose the capacity to make decisions on health matters for yourself, and continues only so long as you lack that capacity. Thus, if you recover, your advance health directive would cease to apply.
Can I change or revoke my advance health directive?
You can change or revoke your advance health directive at any time when you are mentally capable of doing so.
We recommend that you review your advance health directive regularly, and consult us if you wish to change or revoke it at any time.
What else do I need to know?
You should discuss your advance health directive with us, your doctor, your attorneys, and your family and friends.
Your doctor must sign a statement confirming that he or she has discussed your advance health directive with you and that you understand its nature and effect.
We can assist you in preparing an advance health directive which is appropriate to your individual circumstances and wishes.
For assistance, please contact Geoff Cameron of our office on 07 3009 8472 or email@example.com.Geoff Cameron