SA Health has launched two online questionnaires so the public can give feedback on the state’s Advance Care Directive Act.
One 10-question survey targets the overall Advanced Care Directive and another eight-question survey is about the experience of being a Substitute Decision-Maker.
The Act was established in 2013 and implemented in 2014. Legislative policy dictates the Act must be assessed after five years of operation.
SA Health is asking South Australia to participate in the legislative review via online consultation hub yourSAy.
SA Health Director of Legal and Legislative Policy Prue Reid said multifaceted policies like this can always improve and that public feedback will help.
“The public’s views are important in deciding whether any provisions of the Act need to be improved or done differently so that people feel confident to complete an Advance Care Directive.”
Reid said SA Health has no pre-conceived ideas on the response they will receive but anticipate a range of views and experiences to be submitted.
“Any system regulated by law is likely to have complexities that may be improved,” she said.
“However, we will not know the extent of any issues until we have evaluated all of the feedback gathered through extensive consultation.”
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade will table a report of the results with recommendations in Parliament by August 2019.
The Advance Care Directive Act is an opt-in policy that enables a person to specify how they want decisions made for them, when and if they are unable to make these decisions themselves.
An Advance Care Directive enables a person to specify the type of decisions they want made about health care, end of life, preferred living arrangements and other personal matters.
An individual stipulates these requirements in the Advance Care Directive Form by answering three main questions: what is important to you, what outcomes do you wish to avoid and what are your dying wishes.
Individuals may nominate Substitute Decision-Makers who are people they trust to make decisions which are consistent with the person’s Advance Care Directive. A Substitute Decision Maker has to make decisions the person would have wanted.
The Act replaced the Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney and Anticipatory Direction with a single Advance Care Directive Form in 2014.
Director of Northern Adelaide Palliative Care Service Dr Lawrie Palmer said the Advanced Care Directive is designed to make peoples’ lives easier when dealing with death.
“Talking about how you would like to be cared for at the end of your life is a difficult but important conversation to have with the people you love,” said Dr Palmer.
“Framing the discussion around an Advanced Care Directive can make the conversation more practical and easier to have.
“The Form is designed to help you make it clear exactly how you want your future health care, end of life and living arrangements handled.”
The survey ends on 5pm Friday 24 May 2019 and can be accessed via yourSAy. For more information regarding the policy visit the SA Health webpage.
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