An Advance Care Directive, is also called a living will. It lets people know your wishes with regards to your healthcare and treatment should you become seriously ill or injured and unable to make decisions yourself.
A valid Advance Care Directive must be followed. Health professionals and family members have no authority to override it. It is considered valid if:
- you had capacity when you wrote it
- it has clear and specific details about treatments that you would accept or refuse
- it applies to the situation you are in at the time.
To make an Advance Care Directive you can choose to:
- use the form developed by NSW Health at the back of their information booklet – PDF
- use another form, such as Statement of values and wishes (South Western Sydney) – PDF
- write a letter or statement about your wishes
- tell someone that you trust and who knows you well.
Unlike other states, in NSW an Advance Care Directive can be spoken or written, but signed and written Directives are recommended.
Advance Care Directives made in other Australian states and territories are recognised in NSW.