A competent adult who gave an Advance Care Directive (ACD) can cancel it at any time. This is also called revoking an advance care directive.

SACAT can also cancel or revoke an ACD if a person is not competent or does not appear to understand the consequences of cancelling an ACD. In those circumstances the ACD may only be cancelled by SACAT.

Who can apply for cancellation of an ACD?

The person who gave the directive, or a person acting on his or her behalf, may apply to SACAT to revoke or cancel the ACD.

SACAT can also cancel an ACD if advised of a person’s wishes (or likely wishes) to cancel an ACD. SACAT will usually be advised about this situation by a health practitioner in accordance with the Act.

When will SACAT cancel an ACD?

Before making an application to SACAT to revoke or cancel an ACD you should first seek advice from the Office of the Public Advocate.

SACAT will only cancel an ACD if satisfied that:

  • the person who gave the ACD understands the nature and consequences of cancellation
  • the cancellation genuinely reflects the wishes of the person
  • the cancellation is appropriate in all the circumstances.

SACAT will not cancel the ACD if the ACD itself specifies that it should not be cancelled in this circumstance - unless SACAT is satisfied that this reflects the current wishes of the person.

SACAT can also cancel or revoke an ACD if:

  • the person who gave the ACD is not competent or is in such default as to not be fit to to continue
  • the substitute decision maker is no longer able to continue or the appointment is cancelled
  • if no other substitute decision maker was appointed.

SACAT will not revoke an ACD if there are other provisions in the ACD that can continue to have effect.

If SACAT cancels or revokes an ACD, SACAT can appoint a guardian for the person under a full or limited guardianship order.

Right to review of a SACAT decision

There is a right to review a SACAT decision to cancel an ACD.

See Review of ACD decisions for more information.