Sometimes issues or disputes arise under an Advance Care Directive (ACD), which can include:
- the nature or extent of a person’s powers or responsibilities under the ACD
- how to interpret the wording of the ACD to give effect to the wishes of the person who has prepared the ACD
- whether an act or failing to take an act falls within the powers or decision that the substitute decision maker can make
- whether the person who gave the ACD has impaired decision making capacity about a particular decision.
Those issues can initially be dealt with by mediation before you apply to SACAT.
Mediation by the Public Advocate
If there is a dispute, or you need advice about an ACD, in most cases it is not necessary to apply to SACAT to help resolve the dispute or to seek advice or a declaration.
The Public Advocate will initially assist in mediating such issues or giving advice, directions or a declaration.
When to apply to SACAT
The Public Advocate can refer a dispute under an ACD to SACAT if it cannot be resolved, or if it is more appropriately dealt with by SACAT.
There is also a right of review of a decision of the Public Advocate by SACAT.
You can also apply to SACAT to seek an initial declaration or direction or to resolve issues or disputes arising under an ACD. If the Public Advocate has not first dealt with the matter, SACAT can refer the matter back to the Public Advocate for mediation.
You should contact the Office of the Public Advocate for advice about any issues arising under an ACD before making an application to SACAT.
However, applications about cancelling an ACD or removing a substitute decision maker can be made to SACAT.