The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 will commence on 12 March 2018.
Along with consolidating existing laws into one piece of Victorian legislation, the new Act introduces significant changes to medical treatment decisions, including for example, enabling clients to:
- make an Advance Care Directive setting out binding instructions, or preferences and values, in relation to medical treatment; and
- nominate multiple decision-makers. While only one person can act at a time, the other decision-makers are alternates and are listed in the order in which you would like them to act.
What you need to know
If you are in the process of appointing an Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) and have not signed it before 12 March 2018, new documents will need to be prepared to comply with the new legislation.
If you have signed an Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) before 12 March 2018, under the new legislation:
- the attorney will automatically become the medical treatment decision-maker and you do not need to sign a new document (unless you wish to change the existing appointments); and
- they can now also make a binding Advance Care Directive.
While the new legislation allows decisions relating to end-of-life care, it does not go so far as euthanasia.