Who will the doctor ask to give consent?

This page provides a plain-English overview of the legal processes involved in planning ahead, as well as links to local information.

To get advice about your individual circumstances it is recommended that you consult with one of the agencies referred to below or a legal practitioner.

Who will the doctor ask to give consent for my medical treatment if I am not able to give my own consent?

  • If a person is not able to give their own consent for medical or dental treatment, the Guardianship and Management of Property Act 1991 provides direction about who can give consent.
  • The doctor will first seek consent from a person appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney with a healthcare function or a guardian appointed by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal with a medical function.
  • If there is nobody in either of these roles, a Health Attorney is appointed by the doctor to give consent for a person who is not able to give their own consent (referred to as a ‘protected person’).
  • The legislation describes a hierarchy of persons that doctors should approach in turn to provide consent on behalf of the protected person. This hierarchy is:
    1. the protected person’s domestic partner
    2. a carer for the protected person
    3. a close relative or close friend of the protected person.

Link to local resource

Download a brochure about Health Attorney from the Public Advocate website.

Step 4: Legally appointing someone to make health and lifestyle decisions