Advance Care Planning

Making decisions about your future health and personal care is called Advance Care Planning.  Advance Care Planning can be undertaken regardless of your health status. However, it  is particularly important for people who have ongoing health problems.

If you were very unwell and unable to communicate your wishes to others, who would you want to speak for you? What would you want them to say?

Advance Care Planning involves talking with family, friends and loved ones about your future health care wishes and preferences and documenting these in an Advance Care Directive. Appointing a Medical Treatment Decision Maker is also recommended.

The Advance Care Directive will only take effect at a time when you do not have capacity to make medical treatment decisions that need to be made.

It is recommended that you take several steps to make sure your wishes are known. These include:

  • Think about your wishes for future care.
  • Have the conversation.
  • Write your wishes down.
  • Consider appointing someone to make medical treatment decisions for you.
  • Give your advance care directive to others.
  • Review it regularly or when anything changes.

If you have a documented Advance Care Directive, please consider sharing it with your doctor, health service or the hospital you most regularly use and ask for it to be put in your medical record.

If you do not have an Advance Care Directive you can start the conversation with your family and your health professional.


Further information:

Advance care planning advisory service

Call 1300 208 582  – Call with  your  advance  care  planning questions, 9am – 5pm (AEST) Monday to Friday.


Website links for further information:

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services – Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning Australia

Better Health Channel- Advance Care Plans

Dying to Talk

Office of the Public Advocate

The Department of Health and Human Services – Advance Care Planning