By Troy Palmer, Special Counsel, Isobel Feben, Lawyer and Kate Eastaugh, Law Graduate
Following a recent bill passed by the Victorian Government, significant changes to medical decision-making laws in Victoria have been implemented. The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic) (“the Act”) came into effect on 12 March 2018, and replaces previous medical decision-making laws stipulated by the Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic).
These changes are relevant to all individuals residing in Victoria but more particularly, have widespread implications for individuals with ageing family members and healthcare professionals.
By way of summary, the new provisions introduce key amendments which enable individuals in Victoria to:
These changes overall provide increased certainty and allow individuals to proactively control, and precisely document, their wishes in the event they no longer have capacity to make medical decisions. Additionally, making an ACD may substantially reduce the burden for family members who would otherwise have to make difficult and often undesirable medical choices in absence of clear instructions from their relative. It is also acknowledged that the obligations and accountability of healthcare professionals in Victoria is incidentally heightened, resulting in greater confidence that desired medical treatments will be administered in the future.
In order to ensure that you have an up-to-date advance care planning strategy which will effectively benefit you in line with the revised legislation, please contact Mills Oakley for tailored advice in relation to the above.
 Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic) s 26.
 Ibid s 31(1).
 Ibid s 55(3).
 Ibid s 12(1).