How you can make sure your family and/or carers are aware of your wishes in relation to ongoing treatment
Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advanced Health Directives
For those living with COPD, it is important to plan ahead and to ensure your family members and/or carer is aware of your wishes in relation to ongoing treatment.
You have the ability to document an Advanced Health Directive or instructions for your loved ones as to your wishes in the event that you lose capacity to make decisions because of your illness or while undergoing treatment.
An Advanced Health Directive can look at issues including:
- What level and extent of treatment you wish to undergo.
- Who should have the power to make decisions on your behalf.
- Special medical conditions that your doctor or other medical staff should know about.
- Religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that may affect treatment.
- Considerations in relation to resuscitation or the withholding or withdrawing of life sustaining measures.
- Your wishes in relation to the donation of organs in the event of your death.
In combination with an Enduring Power of Attorney, an Advanced Health Directive will ensure your wishes are met and maintained.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (called Enduring Guardianship in Tasmania) appoints a responsible and trusted person to make decisions on your behalf. This document remains in force even when you lose capacity to make decisions on your own.
Making sure you access all available financial support
There are many community based and Government organisations that will make financial and other support available to you in your time of need.
You do not have to accept adverse decisions that are made in relation to your entitlements to financial assistance or services. Often there is a process of review and appeal in relation to those decisions, particularly administrative decisions made by Government. The courts have a general power of review of those decisions to ensure that administrative decision makers exercise their powers in a just and fair manner.
As a member of a community organisation or other support service your membership terms and conditions may also enable you to review or appeal decisions made that are adverse to your interests.
You should seek legal advice about your rights in relation to any adverse decision.