In Advance Care Directives you are able to include Values Directives and Instructional Directives to provide your Medical Treatment Decision Maker with guidelines on what you would like to happen should you lose capacity and are unable to make medical decisions on your own.
An Instructional directive should only be completed if you know exactly what you want, or don’t want, in the future in respect to medical treatment.
An instructional directive is a statement of your medical treatment decision and takes effect as if you had consented to, or refused, the medical treatment.
The instructional directive will include things such as whether you agree to any of the following:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
- Assisted ventilation;
- Artificial hydration;
- Artificial nutrition; and/or
Your answer may differ depending on the situation and whether you are:
- in the terminal phase of an incurable illness
- permanently unconscious
- in a persistent vegetative state
- seriously ill or injured that you are unlikely to recover to the extent that you can live without the use of life-sustaining measures.
Health practitioners need your consent before providing medical treatment. However, an illness or injury may mean that you do not have decision making capacity to make the decision. In this instance, your health practitioner must make reasonable efforts to find out whether you made an Advance Care Directive with a relevant instructional directive. If you have, the directive will need to be followed by the health practitioner.
As lawyers we do not have an understanding of the medical side of things, and you might not have an in-depth understanding of what the options are. Therefore, we strongly recommend you sit down with your GP and discuss your wishes in relation to the above. Once you have identified your wishes we can then draw up the document for you and include your medical preferences.