On 12 March 2018 the Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) was replaced with Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision.
Previously the document allowed you to appoint one person to make decisions about your critical care (eg. life support), but didn’t have scope for directing how that person should make those decisions.
This was seen as a major gap as many people hold firm beliefs that they should have the right to legally enshrine their medical care, particularly end of life decisions.
Effective from 12 March 2018, the new document allows you to:
- Appoint a person to make health care decisions for you, including allowing you to appoint more than one person, which the current document does not allow
- Include instructions on whether certain types of medical treatment should be allowed or refused
- Include your values which are to guide your Attorney in making medical decisions
- Appoint a support person to assist with representing and communicating your decisions.
These changes have been welcomed as they provide greater ability to direct your future medical care, and gives Attorneys greater clarity in what can otherwise be a stressful and emotional time.
If you have made an Enduring Powers of Attorney (Medical Treatment) prior to 12 March 2018 it will remain valid. There is no need to re-do your documents unless you wish to upgrade them.
Having said that, this is a perfect opportunity to review your estate planning documents. Call us on 03 5434 7600 to get started.
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