Advance Care Directives Act 2013

The Advance Care Directives Act 2013 commenced on 1 July 2014.

Are Advance Care Directives working for you?

The operation of the Advance Care Directives Act 2013 was reviewed by independent Professor Wendy Lacey to ensure that the Act is working well for South Australians, and consultation closed on Friday 24 May 2019. We thank everyone who contributed, and Professor Lacey's independent Report on the Review of the Advance Care Directives Act 2013 (SA) (PDF 1MB) is now available. 

The State Government's response (PDF 135KB) to the independent Report was tabled in Parliament on 23 July 2020.

The purpose of the Act

There is now one Advance Care Directive Form for future health care, residential, accommodation and personal matters which will replace the existing Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney and Anticipatory Direction.

The new Advance Care Directive will allow competent adults to:

  • Write down their instructions, wishes and preferences for future health care, residential, accommodation and personal matters and/or
  • Appoint one or more Substitute Decision-Makers to make decisions on their behalf.

The Advance Care Directive will apply to any period of impaired decision-making capacity or as determined by the person.

In broad terms the Act:

  • has been informed by extensive consultation undertaken during the Advance Directives Review and the development of the National Framework for Advance Care Directives
  • takes a broad view of health and well-being and is not restricted to medical treatment decisions at the end of life
  • includes protections for health practitioners, substitute decision-makers and others who give effect to Advance Care Directives in good faith and without negligence
  • sets out clear processes for dispute resolution. Additional powers have been given to the Office of the Public Advocate to conduct voluntary mediation and to the Guardianship Board to hear disputes, review mediation outcomes, and give orders and directions to resolve matters and
  • moves from the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993 to the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 provisions setting out, in the absence of an Advance Care Directive, who can consent to health care for a person with impaired decision-making capacity.Amendments to the Consent Act also include a similar dispute resolution process to that for disputes in relation to Advance Care Directives.

For more information

Contact the Policy and Legislation Unit, email or visit the Advance Care Directives website.