Advance Care Planning

If you were very unwell and not able to communicate your preferences for treatment to others, consider who you would want to speak for you, and what you would what them to say. 

Advance Care Planning helps you plan for your future medical treatment. It is an important process to help you to maintain choice and control of future decisions. You can provide directions about consent, refusing and withdrawing treatment in the future and/or appoint a substitute decision-maker.  

Advance care planning may involve you: 

  • thinking about your values and preferences,  
  • talking about your values and your preferred substitute decision-maker with loved ones and your health team, and/or 
  • documenting these preferences and preferred outcomes in an Advance Care Directive.  

Australian states and territories have different laws and forms for Advance Care Directives and substitute decision-makers.  

Find our more at Advance Care Planning Australia. You can call their free National Advance Care Planning Advisory Service on 1300 208 582.

Once you have completed your documents it is important to make copies and share them with your GP, cancer team, substitute decision-maker, family and carers and upload them onto My Health Record. 

Advance care planning is something that everyone should consider. It is particularly important for people who are older, have chronic disease, have early cognitive impairment, or are approaching the end of their life. 

Older people who helped develop the Older and Wiser resources talked about their experience with advance care directives in their family situation. Their advice was that that it is important to talk with your cancer team about how advance care directives are applied as the persons need for treatment and care changes.

“’We did Advance Care Planning as a family – Dad was very keen to get this sorted out. It was a great resource for when decisions had to be made.”

Family of Peter, with advanced cancer