Before creating your plan in Western Australia, 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 Western Australia.
Recording your choices
In Western Australia there are three ways you can record your choices for future health care:
- Complete an Enduring Power of Guardianship
- Complete an Advance Health Directive
- Complete a My Advance Care Plan
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 Guardianship
An Enduring Power of Guardianship allows you to choose a trusted relative or friend to manage your health care. The person you appoint becomes your substitute decision-maker if you are no longer able to make decisions. An Enduring Power of Guardianship is a legal document that gives your chosen guardian the legal authority to act for you and to make decisions on your behalf.
You can appoint one or more adults to this role. To do this you need to complete the Enduring Power of Guardianship form.
The form has specific requirements for completing and witnessing. These requirements are explained on the form.
Your guardian can consent to or refuse treatment on your behalf. They must act in accordance with any lawful directions contained in the form. 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.
To get an idea of what you can include and how to complete the Enduring Power of Guardianship form, see this example form.
Download an Enduring Power of Guardianship form
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.
To make an Advance Health Directive, we recommend using the Advance Health Directive form.
The form has specific instructions for completion that need to be followed. It needs to be witnessed by two adults including a person authorised to witness statutory declarations.
In your Advance Health Directive, you can:
- write an instructional directive with legally binding instructions about future medical treatment you consent to or refuse
- confirm the appointment of your enduring guardian
Medical treatment includes treatment for physical and mental conditions.
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
My Advance Care Plan
In a My Advance Care Plan you can record additional preferences for future care and state where your advance care directives, such as an Enduring Power of Guardianship or an Advance Health Directive can be found.
Although the My Advance Care Plan is not a legal document, the content can still have a guiding effect by assisting substitute decision-makers and clinicians if you are unable to communicate your choices.
Download a My Advance Care Plan form
Completing an advance care plan for someone else
If a person is no longer able to make or communicate their decisions, a family member or healthcare professional can document medical treatment preferences on a person’s behalf using the Advance care plan for a person with insufficient decision-making capacity form.
This advance care plan isn’t legally binding but can be useful to inform care decisions, and should be taken into account.
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 revoke these documents at any time by completing a new document. The most recent dated document overrides the older document.
Your Advance Health Directive ends when you complete a new Advance Health Directive, you revoke it, it expires (if an expiry date is included) or you die.
Your Enduring Power of Guardianship appointment ends if you revoke it, if the person(s) appointed are unable to act, if they resign their appointment or if you die.
Contact our National Advance Care Planning Support Service on 1300 208 582 for help with creating your plan. We're available 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday (AEST).
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 Western Australia.