Consent to medical treatment and healthcare

People over the age of 16 with decision making capacity have the right to consent or refuse to consent to their own medical treatment and/or healthcare. The Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 regulates:

  • consent
  • medical practitioner’s obligations
  • provision of emergency medical treatment
  • consent to healthcare for people with impaired decision making capacity and
  • care of the dying.

More information can be found by reading the following:

You have the right to express your health care wishes in advance. You can also appoint one or more people you trust (Substitute Decision Makers) to make decisions on your behalf and have these decisions respected including in an emergency in case you can’t make your own decisions in the future. For more info visit the Advance Care Directive website.

When attending an SA Health service

If you’re attending an SA Health service and you have an Advance Care Directive please bring your original or a certified copy (PDF 58KB) with you.

Clinical information

For clinical resources regarding consent to medical treatment and healthcare please visit the SA Health Consent to medical treatment for health professionals page.


If there is a dispute about your healthcare or the healthcare of someone you know the Office of the Public Advocate Dispute Resolution Service can assist.