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It is important to plan in advance if you want to have a say in the level of medical treatment you wish to accept, particularly if you become too unwell to speak for yourself.

Advance Care Planning is a way in which people can talk with their family and health professionals about choices for care at the end of their life.

Visit the NAPWHA site for more information on making decisions for the future.

Visit the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) site for state and territory specific information on advance care plans.

The Respecting Patient Choices site also provides information on Advance Care Planning for Everyone. Their home page also allows the nomination of a state or territory to give access to state-specific information on Advance Care Planning.

Powers of attorney and guardians

A power of attorney is a document that gives the legal authority of a person nominated by you (the attorney) to act on your behalf, subject to any conditions described in the document.

An ‘enduring’ power of attorney is one that is legally recognised even if you are no longer able to make the relevant decisions yourself.

Separate powers of attorney are needed to cover your financial and medical matters.

NOTE: Legal details regarding powers of attorney might differ across the different states and territories. You can speak to the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre or your local Legal Aid service for more information.