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Enduring Power of Guardianship and Advanced Health Directive

Enduring Power of Guardianship and Advanced Health Directive

Enduring Power of Guardianship and Advanced Health Care Directive

In Western Australia, an Enduring Power of Guardianship (“EPG”) is a legal document that authorises a person of your choice to make important personal, lifestyle, and treatment decisions on your behalf should you ever become incapable of making such decisions yourself. This person is known as an enduring guardian. An enduring guardian can be authorised to decide about matters such as where you live, the support services you have access to, and the treatment you receive. An enduring guardian cannot be authorised to make property or financial decisions on your behalf.

What kind of decisions can an enduring guardian make?

  • Where you live, who you live with, and who you associate with.
  • Whether or not you work.
  • Makes treatment decisions on your behalf.
  • Decides what education and training you receive.
  • Commences, defends, conducts, or settles any legal proceedings on your behalf, except proceedings that relate to your property or estate.
  • Advocates for, and decides about, the support services you access.
  • Seeks and receives information on your behalf.

Like the Enduring Power of Attorney, you need to decide who is the best person to decide for you. If in doubt, speak to a lawyer. The appointed ensuring guardian may decide that they do not want to allow a friend or a relative to visit you in your nursing home. Choose your enduring guardian with great care.

Advanced Health Care Directives

            An advance health care directive is a written statement made directly to medical personnel about the treatment you want or do not want to receive if you ever become incapacitated and incapable of communicating your wishes. The treatments include medical, surgical, palliative and dental care. It also includes life sustaining measures. These are decisions that may be crucial, and you need to decide who is to make those decisions.

An advance health care directive is ineffective after death. Therefore, you cannot record your wishes about organ donation in such a document.