You can update or re-write you Advance Care Directive whenever you like as long as you have capacity. It is a good idea to read over anything you have written once a year to make sure it is still current. You may also change your Advance Care Directive if your health needs or life circumstances change. Make sure you sign and date your directive when you have reviewed it so health professionals know that it is current.
Remember to give updated copies to your Person Responsible, doctor, health care facility, family members or other important people in your life whenever you review your Advance Care Directive.
Medical Treatment and Advance Care Plans or Directives
Health professionals may be asked to be part of the Advance Care Planning process or may need to refer to a person’s Advance Care Plan or Directive. The following points should be considered by health care professionals when they need to provide medical care or treatment.
1. Patients have the right to make their own decisions regarding medical care and treatment and should be supported in doing so.
2. Patients with decision making capacity have the right to refuse any and all life-sustaining treatments at end of life.
3. If a patient lacks decision making capacity, clinicians must consult their Person Responsible about treatment and care decisions.
4. A Power of Attorney does not allow someone to make health care decisions.
5. Health Professionals can play a key role in helping patients to develop Advance Care Directives and Plans.
6. If an Advance Care Directive is valid then it is enforceable under law and should be followed.
7. There are a number of ways in which health professionals can seek legal support if needed when making end of life decisions in clinical settings.