From the SA Advance Care Directives Project Team… You may be aware the new Advance Care Directives Act 2013 (SA) and changes to the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 and Guardianship and Administration Act 1993 come into effect on 1 July 2014. Together these changes pave the way for a rights-based, person-centred approach to decision-making for health care and other matters.
There will be a new Advance Care Directive Form on which a person can appoint a substitute decision maker and/or write instructions about their future healthcare, and their wishes for their living arrangements and personal matters.The new Advance Care Directive Form replaces the existing Medical Power of Attorney, Anticipatory Direction and Enduring Power of Guardianship with a single Advance Care Directive Form (however any of these existing forms will continue to have legal effect post 1 July 2014). ACD Fast Facts and ACD Form
This new Advance Care Directive applies at any time that the person has impaired decision-making capacity in relation to the decision– not just at end of life. The changes will also impact on who can consent to or refuse healthcare on a patient’s behalf, whether or not the person has an Advance Care Directive.
It is important that we all have some understanding of what this means for health practitioners. For more information about the changes to who can consent to health care for a person with impaired decision-making capacity, including Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions, are available at: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/advancecaredirective.
For quick reference we have put together a list of the key things you will need to know from 1 July 2014 (see attached). Our education and training materials provide more comprehensive information.
Education and training materials available
A range of education and training materials are available on the SA Health website to assist health practitioners understand the new Advance Care Directive legislation and changes to third party consent. These include fact sheets, Frequently Asked Questions, a training video and other relevant resources. To view these please visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/advancecaredirective
Advance Care Directive Form and DIY Kit
The Advance Care Directive Form and DIY Kit is available to the public from 1 July 2014, either in hard copy from Service SA or electronically from the Advance Care Directives website www.advancecaredirectives.sa.gov.au. A copy of the ACD Form has been included as an attachment to this email.
The Legal Services Commission can provide advice to the public on completing their Advance Care Directive Form and assistance with witnessing.
SA Health is also undertaking advertising to inform the public of the new legislation and encourage uptake of the new Advance Care Directive Form. The advertising includes metropolitan and regional newspapers, radio and online. The advertising commenced on 26 June and will run until then end of August 2014. Spread the word if you can. For more information about Advance Care Directives please visit www.advancecaredirectives.sa.gov.au
My thoughts on Advanced Care Planning is we should be having the discussion with our teenage children, around the time the learn to drive and vote. The decisions made by others, or by us, following a health crisis may not be made with enough rational thought, due to things like a diagnosis of a terminal illness, or a stroke or accident. Think about it today, and if you haven’t planned for your end of life, or your elderly parents have not made plans for their end of life, watch the video below and start the conversation.
Planning ahead is thinking about your future, and putting things in place so that your choices will be known and acted on if you cannot express these choices yourself later in life.This may happen if you have a sudden accident, become very ill or develop a condition such as dementia that affects your memory and your planning ability. Planning ahead can include issues related to your finances, lifestyle or health care. This website will help you to plan ahead for your future. It is a practical and comprehensive resource for people across Australia just like you. It gives you the information you need to make decisions and helps you to put your decisions into action.
Finally, this video on YouTube, brought to my attention by a blog I follow Reflections on Dementia, Caregiving and Life in General is a powerful message about speaks to the heart about why everyone should think about their own Advanced Care plans. It reinforces the importance of this new legislation in South Australia.