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Advance care planning

Advance care planning is when a person discusses with those close to them and their doctor their preferences for their future medical treatment and personal care.

Advance care planning is something that a person with capacity can do for themself.  (And the wishes of someone who does not have capacity should always be sought.)

Making an advance care plan is a two-step process. First a person discusses their wishes (and generally records them), and then they appoint someone to be their substitute decision maker through making enduring powers of attorney. Advance care plans can be used by the substitute decision maker to help inform their decision-making when and if the time comes.

Advance care planning involves ongoing conversations and discussions. People’s views and wishes change with their changing experience, observations, and life circumstances. To undertake advance care planning a person needs to become comfortable with discussing wishes and plans over time.

Further information

Information for consumers about advance care planning is found at Better Health Channel

Information for clinicians about advance care planning is also found at Better Health Channel

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