QLD

Forms and requirements for writing Advance Care Directives and appointing substitute decision-makers vary between and states and territories.

The following outlines the legal requirements, forms and fact sheets in Queensland (QLD):


Frequently asked questions

Advance care planning and the law

If you are unable to make decisions about your own health care, substitute decision-makers can make decisions on your behalf.

Your substitute decision-maker may be:

  • nominated by you (an attorney or attorney for an Advance Health Directive)
  • appointed by a tribunal (a guardian), or
  • appointed by default under legislation (a statutory health attorney).

Attorney or attorney for an Advance Health Directive

You can appoint one or more adults as your attorney by completing an Enduring Power of Attorney form. You appoint an attorney for an Advance Health Directive by completing an Advance Health Directive.

You cannot appoint a paid carer, health provider or a residential service provider.

Your attorney can make decisions relating to healthcare decisions but not special health matters (e.g. sterilisation, termination of pregnancy, removal of nonregenerative tissue, electroconvulsive therapy).

Guardian

A guardian is a person appointed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

A guardian can make the same decisions that a person would be able to make for themselves if they had the capacity to do so.

Statutory health attorney

A statutory health attorney is the person designated under Queensland law if there is no guardian or attorney appointed.

Your statutory health attorney would be chosen on your behalf in the following order:

  1. your spouse or domestic partner
  2. a person who is at least 18 years old and provides (unpaid) care to you
  3. an adult who is a close friend or relation.

(This means your carer would be chosen as your statutory health attorney if you don’t have a domestic partner, and a close relative or friend would be chosen if you don’t have a domestic partner or a carer.)

Advance Health Directive

Advance Health Directive is the formal document recognised by law. It only comes into effect if you cannot make or communicate your decisions. 

Your Advance Health Directive allows you to consent to commencement of treatment and only allows you to refuse or withdraw medical treatment if certain criteria are satisfied.

You can use the recommended form or similar when completing your plan. To be legally binding, the form must be signed by an eligible witness and include a certificate signed by a doctor confirming your capacity.

We recommend that you regularly review your Advance Health Directive. Usually, health professionals are obliged to comply with the preferences stated in your Advance Health Directive, so ensure it is kept up to date.

If you want to change your Advance Health Directive, make a new one to revoke the existing directive. We encourage you to upload your Advance Health Directive to My Health Record and give a copy to your substitute decision-maker, GP and/or hospital.

A person may revoke their Advance Health Directive in writing. The revocation does not need to be in a prescribed or approved form. Creating a new advance health directive revokes an earlier one.

A health care professional must comply with an Advance Health Directive, subject to some exceptions.

If the direction relates to withholding or withdrawing a life-sustaining measure, it will only apply if certain criteria are satisfied:

  • the person who has given the direction has a terminal illness or incurable or irreversible condition which he/she is reasonable expected to die from within one year, or he/she is in a persistent vegetative state, or he/she is permanently unconscious (i.e. in a coma), or he/she has an illness or injury of such severity that there is no reasonable prospect that he/she will recover to the extent that his/her life can be sustained without the continued application of life-sustaining measures; and
  • for a direction to withhold or withdraw artificial nutrition or artificial hydration the commencement or continuation of the measure would be inconsistent with good medical practice; and
  • the person has no reasonable prospect of regaining capacity for health matters.
The Advance Health Directive can include directions relating to mental health treatment, or there is an advance health directive for mental health form.

An Advance Health Directive made in Queensland will apply in:

  • South Australia (if it complies with South Australian law).
  • Northern Territory (as long as the substitute decision-maker works within Northern Territory requirements).
  • Western Australia (if an order is made by the State Administrative Tribunal to recognise the plan)
  • Victoria (from 12 March 2018) (if it complies with Queensland and Victorian law it will be recognised as a values directive).

Please contact the Office of the Public Advocate for more information if you wish.


Forms

Advance care planning forms

  • Form

    Advance Health Directive form (QLD)

    Queensland Government

    Download the form for people living in Queensland, that states your wishes or directions regarding your future health care for various medical conditions. It comes into effect only if you are unable to make your own decisions.
  • Form

    Enduring Power of Attorney – Short Form (QLD)

    Queensland Government

    This Short Form is to legally appoint one attorney/substitute decision-maker for personal matters (including healthcare) and/or financial matters, including allowing them consent to withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment.
  • Form

    Enduring Power of Attorney – Long Form (QLD)

    Queensland Government

    This Long Form is to legally appoint more than one attorney/substitute decision-maker, such as an attorney(s) for personal matters, including healthcare, and a different attorney(s) for financial matters, including allowing them consent to withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment.
  • Form

    Revocation of Enduring Power of Attorney (QLD)

    Queensland Governement

    Visit the Queensland Government site to access the form required if you wish to revoke (cancel) the appointment of a person or persons as your attorney/s (enduring power).
  • Form

    Statement of Choices (QLD)

    Queensland Government

    The Statement of Choices allows a person to record their personal values and preferences for health care, helping family and healthcare professionals decide on medical care when a person is unable to make or communicate decisions. There is a form for those who have decision-making capacity (Form A), and those without decision-making capacity (Form B).
  • Form

    Advance health directive for mental health (QLD)

    Queensland Government

    This guide provides information about making an advance health directive for mental health.

Fact sheets

Advance care planning fact sheets

  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and the law: QLD

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet is for individuals, providing an overview about advance care planning and Queensland (QLD) law.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning fact sheet for individuals and family

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Information about advance care planning for individuals and their families.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning fact sheet for substitute decision-makers

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Information about advance care planning for substitute decision-makers.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and legal requirements: QLD

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet for health professionals gives specific information about advance care planning and Queensland (QLD) law.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning fact sheet for care workers

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Information about advance care planning for care workers.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning fact sheet for healthcare professionals

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Information about advance care planning for healthcare professionals.