Advance Health Directives
In Queensland, Advance Health Directives help you plan what medical treatment or health care you would wish to have in the event that you are too ill to make those kinds of decisions for yourself. You can specify exactly what treatment is acceptable to you and what isn’t or you can appoint an attorney you trust to make those kinds of decisions on your behalf. You’re also able to make any special information known to medical staff through this document, such as allergies to medication or religious beliefs that impact upon the types of treatments acceptable to you.
Without an Advance Health Directive in place there is no legal means to make your wishes known about when to stop or withhold life-sustaining measures, for example CPR to keep your heart beating, assisted ventilation to keep you breathing and being fed through a tube directly into your stomach.
It is a good idea to have both and Advance Health Directive and a Power of Attorney in place. If you become so ill that you can’t make decisions for yourself, these two documents together allow your attorney to make necessary decisions on your behalf.