Advanced care planning

Advanced care planning image

An advance care directive, sometimes referred to as a living will, is a written legal document that outlines your specific wishes for future medical care. It is implemented only if you are unable to make your own decisions.

It may cover issues such as assisted nutrition, life-sustaining treatments and resuscitation, as well as nominate someone to make decisions for you when you are no longer able if you wish. This person is often referred to as your enduring guardian or durable power of attorney.

The more guidance you can provide them on your preferences, the more likely your family and health care providers will make decisions that respect your wishes.


Research shows that people who prepare advance care directives are more satisfied and more comfortable about making end-of-life decisions.


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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015