end of life decisions

End of Life Decisions

end of life decisions

As we get older, we need to have in place some important legal documents to protect ourselves, our family and our assets. If you wait too long, it could be too late.

On March 31, 2005, American woman Terry Schiavo passed away, after a 15 year legal battle over her fate.  During this time, her case became an international lightning rod for the discussion over end-of-life issues.

In brief, Terry had collapsed in her home on February 25, 1990. When the ambulance arrived, she was not breathing and had no pulse.

what you need to know about advance care directives in south australia

What you need to know about Advance Care Directives in South Australia

What you need to know about Advance Care Directives in South Australia

When you can’t make important decisions for yourself regarding accommodation, lifestyle, health or medical treatment, an Advance Care Directive is the shining beacon that guides your family and doctors in the right direction.

The Components of an Advance Care Directive

An Advance Care Directive (ACD) is a legally-binding document that directs how you would like to be treated if you cannot express your wishes, and is made up of three parts:

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End-of-Life Planning

End-of-Life Planning

Deciding how you want to live out your last days is a touchy subject for most people, but if you don’t take the time to do so now, you and your loved ones could end up suffering needlessly. While you are still of sound mind, you need to determine whom you trust to make decisions about your lifestyle and medical care if you are ever incapacitated.

An expert Adelaide estate planning lawyer can document your end-of-life wishes with an Advance Care Directive to help you attain peace of mind about your future and get back to the business of living in the moment.

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Advance Care Directives in South Australia

Advance Care Directives in South Australia

Since 1st July 2014 this new style of document in South Australia has replaced the older documents known as Medical Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Guardianship and Natural Death Anticipatory Directive.

This Advance Care Directive document allows you to appoint one or more persons to act as your Substitute Decision Maker, to make decisions for you about your medical & health care treatment and accommodation issues if you’re unable to do so for yourself. This can make all the difference between ensuring your wishes are met in very stressful times, and having treatment and care almost forced upon you against your wishes.

An Advance Care Directive is a legal form that allows people over the age of 18 years to state their wishes, preferences and instructions for future health care, end of life, living arrangements and personal matters and/or

An Advance Care Directive cannot be used to make financial decisions.  This requires a different document known as a Power of Attorney.

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The Growing Need for Advance Care Directives

The Growing Need for Advance Care Directives

A 2013 report from Alzheimer’s Disease International warns that the number of older people needing care globally is set to nearly treble by 2050 from 101 million currently to 277 million.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia or senility. Symptoms include loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communicating and reasoning.

The report reveals that as the world population ages, the traditional system of informal care by family, friends and the community will need much greater support.

This means that increasing numbers of people aged 60 or over will require long-term care.  This will put huge pressure on families, both emotionally and financially. Carers often have to give up work to look after elderly relatives.

This epidemic of dementia will have specific legal consequences for patients and the people caring for them.  In particular, their loss of mental capacity to make decisions in their own best interests, creates a need to put in place an appropriate system of delegated authority.