WA

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 Western Australia (WA):


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 enduring guardian)
  • appointed by a tribunal (a guardian), or
  • appointed by default under legislation (a person responsible).

Enduring guardian

You can appoint one or more adults as your enduring guardian by completing an Enduring Power of Guardianship form.

If you appoint more than one enduring guardian, they must act jointly on any decisions.

Your enduring guardian can make decisions relating to refusal/withdrawal of treatment and give consent for procedures (excluding sterilisation).

Guardian

A guardian is a person appointed by the State Administrative Tribunal to a ‘person in need of a guardian’.

A guardianship order may be full or limited.

The tribunal may give directions as to the guardian’s function.

Person responsible

A person responsible is the person designated under Western Australian law if there is no guardian or enduring guardian. Your person responsible would be chosen on your behalf in the following order:

  • Your spouse or de facto partner
  • Your oldest adult child
  • Your nearest parent
  • Your nearest sibling
  • Your primary unpaid carer
  • Another adult with a close personal relationship to you.

(This means your oldest adult child would be chosen as your person responsible if you don’t have a spouse or de facto partner, and if you don’t have a spouse/partner, child, parent, sibling or unpaid carer giver, another adult with a close personal relationship to you would be chosen.)

Advance Health Directive

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

Your Advance Health Directive allows you to refuse or withdraw medical treatment and consent to commencement of treatments. You should use the recommended form or similar when making your Advance Health Directive.

To be legally binding, the Advance Health Directive should be signed by a witness authorised by law to take declarations.

We recommend that you regularly review your Advance Health Directive. Usually, health professionals are obliged to comply with the preferences stated in your Advance Health 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.

There are no formal requirements for a person who wants to revise or revoke their existing plan. A person who wants to amend their plan should be encouraged to rewrite it.

A treatment decision in an advance health directive is taken to have been revoked if the person making the directive has changed his or her mind about the treatment decision since making the directive.

A health care professional is not obliged to comply with an advance health directive if circumstances have arisen that the person who made the directive would not have reasonably anticipated when he/she made the directive, or would cause a reasonable person to change his/her mind about the direction.
In Western Australia, the Advance Health Directive can include preferences relating to mental health treatment.

An Advance Health Directive made in Western Australia 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).
  • Victoria (from 12 March 2018) (if it complies with Western 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 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.