New advance care directive laws now in effect in Tasmania

Lady looking at form with Doctor

Amendments to the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 (the Act) are now in effect, providing a legal framework for making and implementing advance care directives in Tasmania. 

The new provisions create a more robust framework for Advance Care Directives made under the Act, setting out how Advance Care Directives are to be made, including witnessing requirements, and enables completed Advance Care Directives to be uploaded to a register maintained by the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT). 

The new laws also set out obligations for health professionals and others responsible for making health care decisions to be informed about whether a person has an Advance Care Directive, and to give effect to its contents. 

Arrangements for resolving disputes in relation to Advance Care Directives through either the Office of the Public Guardian or TASCAT have also been established.  

As Advance Care Planning Australia Program Director Xanthe Sansome states, “This change will help Tasmanians have greater confidence that their medical treatment and care preferences are more likely to be followed if they are seriously ill.  

“I would encourage all Tasmanians to look at the revised Advance Care Directive and talk with your health care team about your health situation and preferences for future care. I would recommend having this important discussion with your family as well. When you are ready, document your values and preferences regarding the health care you would, or would not, want to receive in your own Advance Care Directive. You can also appoint one or more enduring guardians who can make medical care and personal decisions on your behalf if you are not able to do so due to an illness or accident.” 

The commencement of the law providing for Advance Care Directives brings Tasmania in line with other Australian jurisdictions that have already enacted legislation for this purpose. 

For more information and links to the new forms, visit Create your plan in Tasmania



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