Who do you want to make medical decisions for you if you were not able to make them yourself? Would they know what you want?
Advance Care Planning is a process of planning for future health. You can discuss and write down your values, beliefs and preferences.
This can guide health decision making in the future if you cannot make or communicate your own decisions due to a lack of capacity.
Advance Care Planning is about discussing your life goals, values and choices. Key people who will help you with this process are your doctor or other healthcare professional. During this process it’s a good idea to talk with your family/carer and your healthcare professional. You may talk about your beliefs, values and attitudes towards current or future treatment options. You could also talk about personal and cultural issues that are important to you.
Click the play button to watch this short video on Advance Care Planning.
There are 3 major benefits:
Imagine you are in a situation such as a car accident or if a chronic illness worsens and you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Advance Care Planning can reduce the burden of decision making during crisis situations and can provide a clearer understanding of your wishes. Above all, Advance Care Planning allows your voice to be heard when you are unable to speak for yourself.
Almost anyone over the age of 18 years can do Advance Care Planning and some key groups that Advance Care Planning is useful for are:
It is also a good idea to discuss Advance Care Planning if you are having medical or surgical treatment as sometimes these may result in temporary loss of capacity.
A good time to do Advance Care Planning is when your health is stable.
Advance Care Planning in 3 Steps © Northern Health
You can sign legal documents making it clear who you want to make medical, legal or lifestyle decisions for you if you are too sick to do it yourself. This is a ‘Medical Enduring Power of Attorney’ for medical decisions or a "Power of Attorney (Legal and Personal matters)' for legal and lifestyle decisions.
Talk to your family, friends and doctors about your values, beliefs and health care preferences. Tell them about what is important for you. Also, talk to your doctors or other health professionals to find out more about what might be ahead.
If there is something you feel strongly about, you can write it down in an Advance Care Plan, Advance Care Directive or in a letter describing your health care values and preferences for future medical treatments, including what type of medical treatment you would agree to, and what you would not want.
It is important to think about, and consider, writing down your Advance Care Plan / Directive if:
The Powers of Attorney law in Victoria changed on 1 September 2015. For information about the changes please visit the Office of the Public Advocate website.
If the information you are seeking is not listed below, please visit the Office of the Public Advocate website or call their advice service on
1300 309 337 (Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm).
MyValues is an online questionnaire with a set of specially constructed statements designed to help you identify, consider and communicate your wishes about the medical treatment you want in the later stages of life.
Once a free account is set up, you can take the questionnaire to help you clarify what your beliefs and values are and what you may want done if there was a serious decline in your health. This information can be kept private or shared with your friends, family and health practitioners and may assist you in the process of Advance Care Planning.
The Better Health Channel is fully funded by the Victorian Government. It provides health and medical information to improve the health and wellbeing of people and the communities they live in. If the information you are seeking is not listed below please visit the
Better Health Channel website
Bass Coast Health acknowledges Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we operate. We commit to working respectfully to honour their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country.
Many of Bass Coast Health programs are supported by funding from the Commonwealth and State Government.