Medical Powers of Attorney in Victoria Have Changed – Are You Ready?

As of 12 March 2018, the rules relating to medical powers of attorney in Victoria will be overhauled.

The old Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) form will now be replaced by the Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker.

Although the old Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) (if signed prior to 12 March 2018) will remain in force, it is worth reviewing your present arrangements in relation to your medical treatment planning given that the new changes will allow you to:

  1. Place limitations or conditions on the exercise of any medical treatment decisions by your medical treatment decision maker;
  2. Appoint a support person to assist you to make, communicate and give effect to your medical treatment decisions;
  3. Even in the absence of an Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker, you will be able to prepare an instructional Advanced Health Care Directive which sets out binding instructions to a health practitioner and/or medical treatment decision maker in relation to the consent or refusal of particular future medical treatment on your behalf;
  4. Prepare a values Advanced Health Care Directive which serves as a guide to your medical treatment decision maker or the government guardian in relation to your values and preferences for your medical treatment.

In the absence of an Advanced Health Care Directive or Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker, if the medical procedure is routine, the health practitioner may make such decision without requiring anyone’s consent, however, if the medical procedure is significant, the health practitioner will require the consent of the Public Advocate of Victoria, the government guardian.

If you wish to discuss your present medical treatment arrangements in light of the new legislative changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.