What is a medical treatment decision maker?

What happens when we cannot make our own medical decisions?

Dave Kaplan Dave Kaplan
ARTICLE2 MIN READ
What is a medical treatment decision maker?

What is a Medical Treatment Decision Maker?


A medical treatment decision maker is a person who is appointed to make medical choices for you if you are unable to do so yourself.


You can appoint a medical treatment decision maker if you are considered a legal adult (i.e. are over the age of 18 and mentally competent), but the role only begins (if required) when you lose the ability to make your own medical decisions. This could be due to an accident, stroke, diagnosis of dementia or other medical issues where you are incapacitated.


The medical treatment decision maker appointment is a legally binding document that must be signed by two witnesses and is separate to your Will or Power of Attorney.


Why do I need one?


In the event that you are incapacitated, a medical treatment decision maker will be responsible for making all medical and healthcare-related decisions on your behalf.


It is important you sit down and discuss your values, beliefs and preferences with your medical treatment decision maker to ensure they fully understand your wishes and can make the appropriate medical decisions.


If you do not appoint your own, then there is a hierarchy of people who will be chosen to become your guardian by the Court.



I've already appointed someone to be my decision maker, can I choose someone else?


Yes, you are able to 'revoke' the appointment of a medical treatment decision maker, but can only do so if you are considered mentally competent.


The role of a medical treatment decision maker is to ensure that your values and beliefs are maintained, even if you are unable to do so yourself. By appointing a medical treatment decision maker, you can be empowered and comfortable that your healthcare will be aligned with your wishes.


Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice


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