SA

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 South Australia (SA):


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 (a substitute decision-maker)
  • appointed by a tribunal (a guardian), or
  • appointed by default under legislation (a person responsible).

Substitute decision-maker

You can appoint one or more adults as your substitute decision-maker when completing an Advance Care Directive.

You cannot appoint a health practitioner who is responsible for your health care or a paid carer.

Your substitute decision-maker can make decisions relating to refusal/withdrawal of treatment and give consent for procedures.

Guardian

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

A guardianship order may be full or limited.

Person responsible

A person responsible is the person designated under South Australian law to make decisions if there is no guardian or substitute decision-maker.

Your person responsible would be chosen on your behalf in the following order:

  • a relative (spouse, partner, relative) with a close and continuing relationship to you
  • an adult friend with a close and continuing relationship to you
  • an adult who oversees your day-to-day supervision, care and well-being
  • a person appointed by the Tribunal. (This means a close friend would be chosen as your person responsible if you don’t have a close relative, and the Tribunal would appoint someone on your behalf if there is no-one who meets the first three criteria).

Advance Care Directive

An Advance Care Directive is a formal document recognised by law. It only comes into effect if you are unable to make or communicate your own decisions.

Your Advance Care Directive allows you to refuse or withdraw medical treatment and consent to commencement of treatments.

It allows for binding directions (refusal of treatment) and non-binding directions (future health care).

You must use the prescribed form when completing your Advance Care Directive. To be legally binding, the directive must be signed by a suitable witness.

We recommend that you regularly review your Advance Care Directive. Usually, health professionals are obliged to comply with the preferences stated in your Advance Care 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 who wants to amend or revoke their plan will need to prepare a new Advance Care Directive to revoke the existing plan.
A health care professional must comply with any binding provision in an advance care directive, which is any direction for the refusal of health care. Non-binding directions about consent to treatment should be complied with insofar as is reasonably practicable.
In South Australia, the Advance Care Directive can include preferences relating to mental health

An Advance Care Directive made in South Australia will apply in:

  • Northern Territory (as long as the substitute decision-maker works within Northern Territory requirements).
  • Queensland (if it meets the Queensland Advance Health Directive 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 South Australian 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 Care Directive (SA)

    Government of South Australia

    Download the Advance Care Directive form for South Australia. A person 18 years or over must complete this form to make a legally-binding advance care plan. A person uses this form to appoint a substitute decision-maker as well.
  • Form

    Advance Care Directive - Online form and DIY Kit (SA)

    Government of South Australia

    Complete your Advance Care Directive form online or download a do-it-yourself kit, which provide a step-by-step guide for making an advance care plan in South Australia, information for witnesses, substitute decision-makers and interpreters, and tear out forms.
  • Form

    Advance Care Directive wallet card (SA)

    Government of South Australia

    View the wallet-sized form with the details of a substitute decision-maker.

Fact sheets

Advance care planning fact sheets

  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and the law: SA

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet is for individuals, providing an overview about advance care planning and South Australian (SA) 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: SA

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet for health professionals gives specific information about advance care planning and South Australian (SA) 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.