Palliative Care - Advance Care Planning

Page last updated: 23 October 2017

Promoting the autonomy and dignity of an individual is an important part of providing high quality, person-centred care.

Advance care planning is intended to enable individuals to make plans for their future care. The process encourages individuals to reflect on what is important to them, on their beliefs, values, goals and preferences in life, and how they want to be cared for if they reach a point where they cannot communicate decisions about medical care for themselves.

Advance care planning and advance care directives are governed by state and territory legislation. For advance care planning information specific to your state or territory, please visit the Advance Care Planning Australia website and the Department’s Palliative Care and End of Life Care website.

The Australian Government funds the following projects to support advance care planning:

The National Framework for Advance Care Directives

The National Framework for Advance Care Directives, produced by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council in 2011, recognises the potential improvements advance care directives (ACDs) may make to care and decision making during times of impaired capacity, especially towards the end-of-life. The purpose of the Framework is to provide guidance on policy and best practice in relation to advance care directives.

The Framework is primarily intended for regulators, including legislators and policy makers in governments and parliaments, and administrators of advance care planning programs in the health and aged care sectors. The Framework outlines the key ethical and practical aspects of ACDs.