SA

Advance care planning is about your future health care. It gives you the opportunity to plan for what you would want or not want, if you become unable to make or communicate your own preferences.

The following outlines the legal requirements, forms and fact sheets in South Australia (SA):


Frequently asked questions

Advance care planning and the law

To make medical decisions, you must have decision-making capacity. If illness or serious injury (temporary or permanent) prevents you from making decisions about your health care, advance care planning makes sure that your values, beliefs and preferences for treatment and care are understood and respected. Completed and accessible Advance Care Directive documentation allows you to be heard and is important to your treating team and others.

Be open

  • Think and talk about your values, beliefs and preferences for current and future health care.
  • Choose a substitute decision-maker: someone you trust to speak for you if you became very sick and couldn’t speak for yourself. Ask them if they are prepared to be your substitute decision-maker.

Be ready

  • Talk about your values, beliefs and preferences with your substitute decision-maker and other people involved in your care such as family, friends, carers and doctors.
  • Write your preferences and/or appoint your substitute decision-maker using the recommended Advance Care Directive document(s).

Be heard

  • Share your Advance Care Directive documentation with your substitute decision-maker, family, friends, carers and your doctors. This will help ensure everyone knows what you want.
  • Upload your completed documents to your My Health Record.
  • Review your plan regularly and update it as needed.

If you become unable to make decisions about your own health care, a substitute decision-maker will make decisions on your behalf.

Your substitute decision-maker may be:

  • Chosen and appointed by you
  • Appointed for you by a guardianship tribunal n Identified for you by a default list under legislation.

Your substitute decision-maker is the first of the following who is available, willing and able to make decisions:

1 A substitute decision-maker(s) appointed by you

2. A guardian appointed by the South Australian Guardianship Board.

3. A person with a close and continuing relationship with you (person responsible), chosen in the following order:

a. Your spouse or domestic partner

b. An adult relative

c. An adult friend

d. An adult who oversees your day-to-day supervision, care and wellbeing.

e. A person appointed by Tribunal.

In South Australia, the substitute decision-maker appointed by you is a substitute decision-maker.

You may want to choose and appoint one or more adults to this role. To do this you need to complete the Advance Care Directive form. The form has specific requirements for completion and witnessing. Your chosen substitute decision-maker must accept this role by signing the form.

Your substitute decision-maker can consent to or refuse treatment on your behalf. They must act in accordance with any lawful conditions 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.

In your Advance Care Directive, you can write:

  • An instructional directive with legally binding instructions about future medical treatment you refuse. You can also include instructions about medical treatment you consent to, but these are non-binding.
  • A values directive which documents your values and preferences for your medical treatment decision maker to consider when making decisions for you.
  • Appoint your substitute decision-maker.

Medical treatment includes treatment for physical and/ or mental conditions.

Prior to completing an Advance Care Directive, you should read the Advance Care Directive Information Statement, Government of South Australia. You should use the prescribed South Australian Advance Care Directive form. The form has specific instructions for completion that need to be followed. It needs to be witnessed by an authorised witness.

Upload your completed Advance Care Directive to your My Health Record.

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 update your Advance Care Directive at any time providing you still have decision-making capacity. To update your Advance Care Directive you must create a new one.

Your Advance Care Directive ends when you complete a new Advance Care Directive, you revoke it, it expires (if an expiry date is included) or you die. You should let others know of any changes, and provide updated copies.

In general, a valid Advance Care Directive will apply in other places in Australia, although there may be some limitations and additional requirements. Similarly, an appointment of a substitute decision-maker will usually apply, but there is variation in the laws within Australia.

It is recommended that you obtain specific advice from the Office of the Public Advocate or equivalent in the relevant state or territory,

If you are permanently moving state or territory, it is recommended you update your documentation using the recommended form(s) in consultation with your doctor and substitute decision-maker.


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.