What is involved in being a designated healthcare representative?

As a designated healthcare representative, your role is to ensure the person’s advance healthcare directive is followed. The person can give you the powers to:

  • Interpret the person’s wishes about healthcare and treatment
  • Advise the person’s doctor and healthcare professionals about the person’s wishes
  • Consent to healthcare and treatment on behalf of the person
  • Refuse healthcare and treatment on behalf of the person, including life-sustaining treatment

You can only exercise your powers when the person lacks the capacity to make healthcare and treatment decisions. You cannot transfer any of your powers to another person.

You must make sure you keep a copy of the advance healthcare directive. You should provide a copy of the advance healthcare directive to healthcare professionals where needed.

Healthcare professionals must talk to you if they are unsure whether an advance healthcare directive should be followed when providing care and treatment.

Codes of practice

You must follow the Code of Practice for the guidance of designated healthcare representatives. This has important information about your responsibilities as a designated healthcare representative.

You must also follow the Code of Practice on supported decision-making and assessing capacity.

Find out more about the codes of practice.