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
- 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
Until 12 March 2018, an agent or attorney is appointed
by completing an Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical
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.
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:
- your spouse or domestic partner
- a primary carer
- 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