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 you are not able to give your own consent for treatment, the law provides direction about how treatment decisions will be made on your behalf.
  • Urgent treatment required to save your life or prevent unnecessary pain can be provided without consent if no one is immediately available to provide this consent.
  • A health professional proposing non-urgent treatment must follow your valid Advance Health Directive if you have made one and if it relates to the treatment required.
  • If you have no Advance Health Directive, the health professional must seek consent from the first person in the hierarchy of treatment decision-makers:
    • an enduring guardian appointed by you with authority to make this decision
    • a guardian appointed by the Administrative Tribunal with authority to make this decision
    • spouse or de facto partner
    • adult son or daughter
    • parent
    • sibling
    • primary unpaid caregiver, or
    • other person with close personal relationship.

Links to local resources

To view information about making treatment decisions on the Office of the Public Advocate website, click here.

To download a brochure called Who will make decisions for you from the Office of the Public Advocate, click here.

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