VIC

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 Victoria (VIC):


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 agent or attorney or medical treatment decision-maker)
  • appointed by a tribunal (a guardian), or
  • appointed by default under legislation (a person responsible, from 12 March 2018 a medical treatment decision-maker).

Agent or attorney / medical treatment decision-maker

Until 12 March 2018, an agent or attorney is appointed by completing an Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) form.

From 12 March 2018, an appointed medical treatment decision-maker (MTDM) is appointed by completing an Advance Care Directive.

You can appoint more than one person to this role. The person can make decisions relating to refusal/withdrawal of treatment as well as give consent for procedures.

Guardian

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

A guardianship order may be continuing or temporary and may be full or limited.

Medical treatment decision-maker

From 12 March 2018, a medical treatment decision-maker is the person designated under Victorian law if there is no guardian, agent, attorney or appointed medical treatment decision-maker.

Your medical treatment decision-maker would be a person with a close continuing relationship to you, chosen in the following order:

  1. your spouse or domestic partner
  2. a primary carer
  3. the first of the following:

i) an adult child (oldest if more than one)

ii) a parent (oldest if more than one)

iii) an adult sibling (oldest if more than one).

(This means your primary carer would be chosen as your medical treatment decision-maker if you don’t have a spouse or domestic partner, and an adult child would be chosen if you don’t have a primary carer or a spouse/domestic partner.)

Refusal of Treatment Certificate

The Refusal of Treatment Certificate is the form prescribed by Victorian law until new laws come into effect on 12 March 2018. The Refusal of Treatment Certificate must be on the prescribed form and witnessed by a medical practitioner and another adult. This certificate remains binding after 12 March 2018 unless revoked.

Advance Care Directive

The Advance Care Directive is a formal document prescribed by Victorian law from 12 March 2018. It only comes into effect if you are unable to make your own decisions. Your Advance Care Directive allows you to refuse or withdraw medical treatment and consent to commencement of treatments. The directive allows for instructional and values directives.

You should use the recommended form or similar when completing your directive. To be legally binding, the Advance Care Directive must be witnessed by a medical practitioner and another adult.

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.

From March 2018 a person can amend the original, or prepare a new directive, which will revoke a previous directive. Making an advance health directive will not necessarily revoke a refusal of treatment certificate, although it may, depending on its terms.

From 12 March 2018, a health practitioner must give effect to any instructional directive in an advance care directive unless:

  • circumstances have changed since the person gave the advance care directive so that the practical effect of the instructional directive would no longer be consistent with the person’s preferences and values;
  • the delay that would be caused by an application to VCAT as to whether the directive is applicable would result in a significant deterioration of the person’s condition

A health care professional must comply with a refusal of treatment certificate. If the person who gave the refusal of treatment certificate no longer suffers from the “current condition”, the refusal of treatment certificate will not apply.

In Victoria, a person receiving treatment under the Mental Health Act 2014 can make a separate Advance Statement in relation to treatment preferences. Alternatively, the Advance Care Directive can include preferences relating to mental health treatment.

An Advance Care Directive made in Victoria 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).
  • 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).

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


Forms

Advance care planning forms

  • Form

    Advance care directive for adults (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this new form to make an instructional directive (specific directives about future treatment a person consents to or refuses) and a values directive (a statement of the person's views and values for their medical treatment).
  • Form

    Appointment of medical treatment decision maker(s) (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this form if you wish to formally appoint one or multiple medical treatment decision makers, who will have legal authority (in order of appointment based on availability at the time), to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so.
  • Form

    Appointment of support person (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this new form to appoint a support person to assist you to make, communicate and give effect to your medical treatment decisions.
  • Form

    Advance Statement for Mental Health (VIC)

    Department of Health & Human Services

    The form to complete an advance statement documenting your preferences for your mental health service treatment.
  • Form

    Advance care directive for adults for someone signing on your behalf (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this new form if you need someone to fill in and sign an advance care directive for you, at your direction. This document allows an adult to document their values and preferences for future medical treatment, should they lose decision-making capacity.
  • Form

    Appointment of medical treatment decision maker for someone signing on your behalf (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this form if you need someone to sign an appointment of medical treatment decision maker for you, at your direction, who will have legal authority to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so.
  • Form

    Revocation of an advance care directive form (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this form to revoke a previously completed advance care directive.
  • Form

    Resignation of medical treatment decision maker (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this form to inform the person who appointed you, and any other appointed medical treatment decision maker who was appointed at the same time as you, that you resign from being a person's appointed medical treatment decision maker.
  • Form

    Revocation of medical treatment decision maker form (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this form to revoke your appointment of a medical treatment decision maker.
  • Form

    Resignation of support person (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this form to inform the person who appointed you that you resign as support person.
  • Website

    Resources for people who lack capacity to undertake Advance Care Planning (VIC)

    Department of Health and Human Services Victoria

    Guides for clinicians and consumers to help them make medical decisions for a person who lacks capacity, aged care facility goals of care forms, and a presentation of the clinical implications of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act.
  • Form

    Revocation of support person form (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    Use this form to revoke your appointment of a support person (medical treatment).

More information

Supporting information, guides and checklists about Victorian forms

Changes to Victorian forms.

The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 went into effect 12 March 2018, affecting Victorian forms.

  • If you have completed the forms prior to 12 March 2018, they will still be valid. You will not be required to complete new forms.
  • If you are completing forms after 12 March 2018, the new forms shown on this site will be required.

The following resources can help answer any questions about the new legislation and the updates to Victorian forms.

  • Form

    Instructions for completing an 'Advance care directive' for adults form (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    These instructions provide additional guidance and information to assist in completing the Advance care directive for adults form.
  • Form

    Checklist of steps for appointing your medical treatment decision maker (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    This checklist provides additional guidance and information to help you appoint your medical treatment decision maker.
  • Form

    Checklist of steps for appointing your support person (VIC)

    State Government of Victoria

    This checklist provides additional guidance and information to help you appoint your support person.
  • Articles & Publications

    Summary of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016

    State Government of Victoria

    A summary of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 for health practitioners.
  • Articles & Publications

    Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 FAQ

    State Government of Victoria

    Answers to common questions for health practitioners and individuals who are affected by or interested in the Act that comes into effect March 2018.
  • Articles & Publications

    Guide to the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016.

    State Government of Victoria

    A guide to understanding the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 for health practitioners.
  • Articles & Publications

    Changes to advance care directives — Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016

    Russell Kennedy Lawyers

    The law surrounding advance care directives and the associated obligations on health practitioners are set to change in Victoria in March 2018.

Fact sheets

Advance care planning fact sheets

  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and the law: VIC

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet is for individuals, providing an overview about advance care planning and Victorian (VIC) 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: VIC

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet for health professionals gives specific information about advance care planning and Victorian (VIC) 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.