21 November 2022

Elise Archer, Attorney General
Minister for Justice

New advance care directives laws now in effect

Amendments to the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 (the Act) are now in effect from today, providing a legal framework for making and implementing advance care directives (ACDs) in Tasmania.

Advance care directives are instructions around a person’s future decisions regarding health care that enable Tasmanians to put their affairs in order when they are able, typically as they age.

The new provisions provide a more robust framework for ACDs made under the Act, setting out how ACDs are to be made, including witnessing requirements, and enables completed ACDs to be uploaded to a register maintained by the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT).

The new laws also set out obligations on health professionals and others responsible for making health care decisions to be informed about whether a person has an ACD, and to give effect to its contents.

Arrangements for resolving disputes in relation to ACDs through either the Office of the Public Guardian or TASCAT have also been established.

The new legal framework for ACDs has been introduced as Stage 1 of the Government’s commitment to modernise and update Tasmania’s guardianship and administration laws.

Stage 2, which proposes broader reforms to guardianship and administration law, has been the subject of a recent consultation process.

The commencement of the law providing for ACDs brings Tasmania in line with other Australian jurisdictions that have already enacted legislation for this purpose.

The new ACD Form and Information Sheet is available on the Department of Health’s website at https://www.health.tas.gov.au/publications/advance-care-directive-form