The Ministry of Health has released 'Making an Advance Care Directive', an information booklet about Advance Care Directives (ACDs). A newly developed ACD template is included as a fill-in-tear-off feature at the back of the booklet.

The resource is targeted at health consumers, and the template is currently being trialed by South Eastern Sydney LHD for suitability.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant noted the extensive consultation that had gone into development of the template, adding:

“The Ministry's ACD template is one of many advance care planning and end of life resources that are available for use. It is not intended to be mandatory or legislated, and it does not replace or void any other existing ACDs that are being used.

The intention of this ACD is to build on the current options as well as provide a guide and a better legal and clinical framework to some of these options.

I remind health professionals that in NSW a person does not need to use a specific form to record their wishes. Therefore all ACDs must be respected.”

'Making an Advance Care Directive' is available on NSW Health's Advance Care Planning webpage. It will also be available on the NSW Trustee and Guardian Advance Care Directives webpage 'Get it in Black And White: Planning Ahead Tools' although the NSW Trustee & Guardian advises on their webpage that they are unable to assist with the preparation of Advance Care Directives.

What is an ACD? An Advance Care Directive is an important way of directing your care in advance, should you find yourself in a position where you are seriously ill or injured and not able to make decisions. Having an Advance Care Directive will make it easier for your loved ones and health staff if they need to make decisions for you. An Advance Care Directive is sometimes referred to as a ‘Living Will’.