The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic) commenced on 12 March 2018 and allows you to put in place an Advance Care Directive and appoint a Medical Decision Maker. Since the 11 March 2018 instruments appointing Medical Decision Makers have replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (Medical).
If you executed a valid Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical) under the old scheme, this document continues to be valid and will now be regarded as a Medical Treatment Decision Maker document.
A Medical Treatment Decision Maker may make medical decisions on another persom's behalf if that person does not have decision making capacity and has not made an instructional directive in relation to the medical treatment decision. A Medical Treatment Decision Maker must make the decision that they reasonably believe is the decision that the person would have made if the person had decision-making capacity.
An Advance Care Directive is a document which is prepared with your Doctor. It sets out your values, and specific instructions and/or preferences regarding medical treatment. It is a document that will be used by your health care professional in the event you do not have capacity to make decisions regarding your medical treatment.
For an appointment of a Medical Treatment Decision Maker to be legally binding it must be in writing, in English and signed by the person making it. In order to assure that your document meets the formality requirements and to ensure it is legally binding, we strongly recommend that you prepare your Medical Treatment Decision Maker documents with a lawyer.
What happens if you have not appointed a Medical Treatment Decision Maker?
If you do not appoint a Medical Treatment Decision Maker, the legislation sets out an order of decision makers for you. This order may or may not reflect your particular wishes.