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 is a values-based document that allows you to record your personal values and preferences for health care into the future.
In your Statement of Choices you can record your views about what is important to you, your wishes for care, and the outcomes you might find acceptable/unacceptable. These wishes could include cultural, religious or spiritual beliefs and practices that you would want respected.
You can also provide information about your preferences for life-prolonging treatment and other medical treatments.
Although the Statement of Choices is not a legally binding document, the content provides guidance to substitute decision-makers and clinicians about your views, wishes and preferences for care in the event you are unable to make health care decisions for yourself.
Download the Statement of Choices Form A (for people who can make health care decisions for themselves)
This guidance will help you fill in the Statement of Choices Form A.
Completing a Statement of Choices for someone else
If a person is unable to make their own healthcare decisions, the person’s legally appointed substitute decision-maker(s) or, if not applicable, person(s) in a close and continuing relationship with the individual can complete a Statement of Choices Form B on their behalf.
Use Form B to reflect your understanding of the person’s views about what is important to them, their wishes for care, and the outcomes they might find acceptable/unacceptable. This should take into account what the person has said or done in the past, and their personal, cultural, religious or spiritual beliefs and practices that they might want respected. You may also choose to include the person’s doctor and other decision-makers in the process to ensure the form most accurately reflects the person’s values and so all are aware of the person's preferences.
Download the alternative Statement of Choices Form B (for people who cannot make their own healthcare decisions or who require support with decision-making)
This guidance will help you fill in the Statement of Choices Form B.
For an advance care plan form that can be used in all states and territories, use 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.
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Storing your documents
Share copies of completed ACP documents with family members, decision-makers, your GP and important others. Also send copies to the Queensland Statewide Office of Advance Care Planning.
It's important that ACP documents are easily available to authorised clinicians involved in a person's care if they are needed. Advance Health Directives, Enduring Power of Attorneys, revocation documents, QCAT Decisions and Statement of Choices can be uploaded to a person's Queensland Health electronic hospital record. Keep the original(s) in a safe place.
Send a copy/scan of all pages of the document to the Statewide Office of Advance Care Planning via:
- Fax: 1300 008 227
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post: PO Box 2274, Runcorn QLD 4113
We also recommend uploading your documents to My Health Record.
You can 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.
Contact our National Advance Care Planning Support ServiceTM on 1300 208 582 for more information and advice. We're available 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday (AEST/AEDT).