When a person prepares their Advance Care Plan, they invite someone to be their substitute decision-maker. If the person loses the ability to make their own healthcare decisions, the substitute decision-maker can make decisions on their behalf.
The substitute decision-maker has an important role in the advance care planning process.
Your substitute decision-maker should be;
• someone you trust
• someone who will listen carefully to your wishes and values
• available (ideally live in the same city or region)
• over the age of 18
• prepared to communicate clearly and confidently on your behalf when talking to your doctors, other health professionals and family members.
You can complete a document to legally appoint your chosen person. Depending on your state/territory, you may be able to appoint more than one substitute decision-maker.
Depending on your state/territory, substitute decision- makers can also be referred to as:
• enduring guardian
• medical enduring power of attorney