Frequently Asked Questions

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An Advance Directive sets out instructions for what type of medical treatment, if any, you want administered in case you are unable to communicate your wishes at that time. Examples of instructions in an Advance Directive include whether you want to be put on a respirator or have a feeding tube, and whether you should be resuscitated if you stop breathing. It is not a document that distributes your assets after you die.

An Advance Directive is a statement signed by a person setting out in advance the treatment wanted or not wanted in the event of becoming unwell in the future. An advance directive is a good way to gain more control over your treatment and care, should you experience an episode of mental incapacity, which leaves you unable to decide or communicate your preferences at the time.

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Anyone who is legally competent to make a healthcare choice, has the right to make an advance directive, under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights. 

Anyone who is legally competent to make a healthcare choice, has the right to make an advance directive, under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.

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Your Advance Directive should focus on treatment and care. For example, you could state the treatments you do or don’t want to be given when you are in a crisis. This includes drugs or ECT and, the places you would prefer to receive treatment. Such as hospital, home or a crisis house.

Your Advance Directive should focus on treatment and care. For example, you could state the treatments you do or don’t want to be given when you are in a crisis. This includes drugs or ECT and, the places you would prefer to receive treatment. Such as hospital, home or a crisis house.

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It’s not difficult to make an advance directive. You don’t need a lawyer. In fact, you have the right to make an advance directive without involving anyone else in its preparation. However, taking the following steps will help ensure that your advance directive is respected, and the decisions contained within it acknowledged and acted upon.

It’s not difficult to make an advance directive. You don’t need a lawyer. In fact, you have the right to make an advance directive without involving anyone else in its preparation. However, taking the following steps will help ensure that your advance directive is respected, and the decisions contained within it acknowledged and acted upon.

  • If possible, make your advance directive in writing rather than verbally. State your preferences as clearly as you can, then sign and date it.
  • If you prepare your advance directive with the help of your clinician or another health worker, he or she can verify that you are competent and sufficiently informed about your stated preferences, and can help you clarify the type of situation you intend your directive to cover.
  • If you involve your family/whānau in preparing your advance directive, or at least inform them of it, they will be better equipped to support you and to advocate for your wishes in a crisis.
  • Regularly review and update your advance directive so that it reflects any changes in your condition or your preferences, and is viewed by clinicians as still representing your wishes.
  • Keep a copy of your advance directive yourself, and give copies to your family or support persons, and the clinicians most often involved in your care.

 

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When deciding whether or not to follow your advance directive, your clinician will consider five questions and they are…….

No. When deciding whether or not to follow your advance directive, your clinician will consider five questions:

  • Were you competent to make the decision when you made the advance directive?
  • Did you make the decision of your own free will?
  • Were you sufficiently informed to make the decision?
  • Did you intend your directive to apply to the present circumstances, which may be different from those anticipated?
  • Is the advance directive out of date?

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