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 Act 1986 provides direction about who can give consent and this person is referred to as the Person Responsible.
  • The legislation describes a hierarchy of persons that doctors should approach in turn to provide consent on behalf of another person. This hierarchy is:
    1. your guardian, if they have the authority to consent to your medical or dental treatment. Or, if you don’t have a guardian
    2. your spouse, de facto or same-sex partner. If you don’t have a partner
    3. a person who provides care for you (but not a paid carer). This may be a family member. If you don’t have a carer
    4. a close friend or relative.

Links to local resource

To view information about Person Responsible on the NSW Planning Ahead Tools website, scroll down within the FAQ section here

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