Home Information for you Additional information What happens if there are problems with my Advance Care Directive?

What happens if there are problems with my Advance Care Directive?

Problems may arise in the future about what you have written in your Advance Care Directive, or who you have appointed as your Substitute Decision-Maker(s). Your family may disagree about your care or your wishes.

To avoid problems, talk to your family and friends about your Advance Care Directive so that everyone is clear about the decisions you would want made for you and/or who you want to make them, when you are unable to make them yourself.

If problems arise with your Advance Care Directive and cannot be resolved, the Office of the Public Advocate can:

  • Help work out whether you can make your own decisions or whether your Advance Care Directive should be used.
  • Help you, your Substitute Decision-Maker(s), health practitioners or others close to you solve problems if there is disagreement about a decision being made for you.
  • Help you and those close to you make a decision together.

Contact the Office of the Public Advocate on (08) 8342 8200 for advice or assistance, or visit their website: www.opa.sa.gov.au
As a last resort the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal can resolve problems using a legal process. You can telephone SACAT on 1800 723 767.

When solving problems, your wishes are the most important.

Mr May’s three Substitute Decision-Makers did not get along and did not want to talk with each other even though they had successfully made joint decisions in the past. Mr May could not make his own decisions due to advanced dementia but he clearly stated in his Advance Care Directive that he wanted a relationship with all three Substitute Decision-Makers. One of the Substitute Decision-Makers asked the Office of the Public Advocate to help them work out how they could work together for Mr May. The Substitute Decision-Makers agreed to a visiting schedule that avoided contact with each other on a day to day basis. They also discussed how they would come together to consider any future decisions that arose for Mr May, and agreed a plan to do so, ensuring that Mr May would be included to the full extent of his abilities.