Before creating your plan in Queensland, it’s important to have a good understanding of what advance care planning is and what’s involved in the advance care planning process.
On this page you can find advance care directives and other documents relevant to Queensland.
Recording your choices
In Queensland there are three ways you can record your choices for future health care:
- Complete an Enduring Power of Attorney
- Complete an Advance Health Directive
- Complete a Statement of Choices
Completing these documents is the best way to make your preferences known about the type of treatment you would prefer if you are unable to participate in decisions, and to ensure that family and health professionals respect your preferences.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney process allows you to choose a trusted relative or friend to manage your personal matters (including health care) and financial matters. The person you appoint as your attorney becomes your substitute decision-maker if you are no longer able to make decisions. An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives your chosen attorney the legal authority to act for you and to make decisions on your behalf.
If you only wish to appoint an attorney to manage your health matters, you should complete an Advance Health Directive, rather than follow the Enduring Power of Attorney process. If you wish to appoint an attorney to manage your personal matters (including health care) and financial matters, you should complete an Enduring Power of Attorney form.
You can appoint one or more adults to this role. You can also appoint different attorneys to different roles. To appoint the same attorney/s to take care of both personal matters (including health care) and financial matters, fill out the Enduring Power of Attorney short form.
To appoint an attorney/s for personal matters (including health care) and a different attorney/s for financial matters, fill out the Enduring Power of Attorney long form.
This guidance will help you fill in the short and long form.
The forms have specific requirements for completion and witnessing. Your chosen attorney/s must accept this role by signing the form.
Your attorney/s can consent to or refuse treatment on your behalf. They must act in accordance with any lawful directions contained in these forms. They must make the decision they believe you would make if you could make your own decision. For this reason, it is helpful to talk to them about what is important to you and any preferences you have.
Download an Enduring Power of Attorney short form (appoint the same attorney/s to take care of both personal matters and financial matters)
Download an Enduring Power of Attorney long form (appoint different attorney/s for personal matters and attorney/s for financial matters)
Advance Health Directive
An Advance Health Directive is a formal way to give instructions about your future health care. It is sometimes called a living will. It will only take effect if you do not have capacity to make decisions for yourself or to communicate your preferences.
In your Advance Health Directive you can:
- state what medical treatment or health care you want if you can no longer make decisions for yourself. It can be general (e.g. that you wish to receive all available treatment) or specific (e.g. that you wish to decline a certain medical treatment)
- appoint an attorney to make decisions on your behalf for health and personal matters
- include information to inform health professionals about health conditions, allergies, and religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that could affect your care
Medical treatment includes treatment for physical and mental conditions. If you would only like to document your preferences for mental health treatment, you can complete an Advance Health Directive for Mental Health.
In your Advance Health Directive, you can give specific instructions about certain medical treatments. You can also outline the quality of life that would be acceptable to you. For example, you might ask that life-prolonging treatment - such as tube feeding or resuscitation - be withheld or withdrawn if you have:
- a terminal illness with no known cure or chance of recovery
- severe and irreversible brain damage, and you can’t communicate
- a severe illness or injury that you’ll probably never recover from
Download an Advance Health Directive form
This guidance will help you fill in the form.
Statement of Choices
A Statement of Choices allows you to record your personal values and preferences for health care.
In your Statement of Choices you can record your personal values and include any religious or spiritual wishes and other personal preferences you would like considered if you are nearing death and after you die. You can also provide information about your choices for life-prolonging treatment and other medical treatments.
Although the Statement of Choices is not a legal document, the content can still have guiding effect by assisting substitute decision-makers and clinicians if you are unable to communicate your choices.
Download a Statement of Choices form
Completing a Statement of Choices for someone else
If a person is unable make their own healthcare decisions or requires support with decision-making, a substitute decision-maker can complete a separate form on their behalf.
If you are the substitute decision-maker, give your views based on what you believe is in the person's best interests, taking into account their previously expressed preferences and the views of the people closest to them. Include the person's doctor and other decision-makers in the process to ensure the form most accurately reflects the person's values.
Download the alternative Statement of Choices form (for people who cannot make their own healthcare decisions or who require support with decision-making)
Storing your documents
We recommend uploading your documents to My Health Record.
It’s important that you share copies of your documents with your chosen attorney, family, friends, carers and your doctors. This will ensure everyone knows what you want.
You can also download and print a wallet card to let others know that you have an advance care directive.
Making changes and revoking documents
We recommend that you review your decisions and documents regularly. This is particularly important if there is a change in your health, personal or living situation.
You can change or cancel your Advance Health Directive at any time if you still have the decision-making capacity to do so. Make all changes in writing and have them witnessed.
You can revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney appointment at any time while you have capacity to make this decision. To do this, you should complete a Revocation of Enduring Power of Attorney form.
Applicability in other states and territories
In general, a valid advance care directive will apply in other places in Australia, although there may be some limitations and additional requirements. Learn more about applicability in specific states and territories
For more in-depth legal information, read about advance care planning laws in Queensland.