WA

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 Western Australia (WA):


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.

Advance care planning is an ongoing process with a number of steps.

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
  • 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. An enduring guardian appointed by you

2. A guardian appointed by the State Administrative Tribunal to make decisions (full or limited) on your medical treatment.

3. The first of the following (person responsible):

a. Your spouse or de facto partner

b. Your nearest adult child

c. Your nearest parent

d. Your nearest sibling

e. Another adult with a close personal relationship to you.

In Western Australia, the substitute decision-maker appointed by you is an enduring guardian or joint enduring guardian.

You may want to choose and appoint one or more adults to this role. To do this you need to complete the Enduring power of guardianship form. The form has specific requirements for completion and witnessing. Your chosen enduring guardian must accept this role by signing the form.

Your enduring guardian can consent to or refuse treatment on your behalf. They must act in accordance with any lawful functions, circumstances and directions contained in the form. They must act in your best interests. They should take your views and preferences into account and 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 Western Australia, your Advance Care Directive is known as an Advance Health Directive.

In your Advance Health Directive, you can write:

  • An instructional directive with legally binding instructions about future medical treatment you consent to or refuse.
  • Confirm appointment of your ensuring guardianship.

Medical treatment includes treatment for physical and/ or mental conditions. You should use the prescribed Western Australian Advance Health Directive form or substantially similar document. The form has specific instructions for completion that need to be followed. It needs to be witnessed by two adults including a person authorised to witness statutory declarations.

Upload your completed Enduring power of guardianship form and your Advance Health 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 Health Directive and/or your appointment of an enduring guardian at any time providing you still have decision-making capacity.

Your Advance Health Directive ends when you complete a new Advance Health 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.

Your enduring guardian(s) appointment ends if you revoke it, if the people appointed are unable to act, resign their appointment, or if you die.

In general, a valid Advance Health Directive will apply in other places in Australia, although there may be some limitations and additional requirements. Similarly, an appointment of enduring guardian 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 or substitute decision-maker.


Forms

Advance care planning forms

  • Form

    Advance Health Directive (WA)

    Government of Western Australia

    Legally record your decisions for future health care treatments and procedures in an Advance Health Directive. The Guardianship and Administration Act 1990 was amended by the Acts Amendment (Consent to Medical Treatment) Act 2008, to include an Advance Health Directive to refuse treatment for a current condition or terminal illness.
  • Form

    Advance Health Directive Alert Card (WA)

    Government of WA, Department of Health

    Legally record your decisions for future health care treatments and procedures in an Advance Health Directive. Download an alert card recording all of your key information and Advance Health Directive contacts in small wallet sized card.
  • Form

    Enduring Power of Guardianship - Information Kit and Form (WA)

    Government of Western Australia

    In Western Australia, a substitute decision-maker is referred to as an enduring guardian. View the information and form to legally appoint a substitute decision-maker in Western Australia. The form is included towards the end of the information kit.
  • Form

    My Advance Care Plan (WA)

    Government of Western Australia

    A person living in Western Australia can record additional personal wishes not covered in the Advance Care Directive or Enduring Power of Guardianship in a separate form called an Advance Care Plan. This form records additional personal wishes not covered in other formal WA documents.

Fact sheets

Advance care planning fact sheets

  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and the law: WA

    Advance Care Planning Australia

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

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet for health professionals gives specific information about advance care planning and Western Australia (WA) 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.