You can appoint someone you know and trust to speak on your behalf in an Advance Healthcare Directive. This person is your Designated Healthcare Representative. You may also appoint an Alternate Designated Healthcare Representative to act for you if your original Designated Healthcare Representative is unable to do so.
A Designated/Alternate Healthcare Representative must agree to act on the decisions you have set out in your Advance Healthcare Directive if at some point in the future you lack capacity to make and/or express your choices. They must inform your healthcare team about your decisions as you set them out in your Advance Healthcare Directive.
You may also give your Designated/Alternate Healthcare Representative the power to interpret your wishes, including the power to refuse, agree on, or request treatments on your behalf.
The Designated/Alternate Healthcare Representatives must:
- Be at least 18 years of age, and
- Agree to act for you in accordance with your will and preferences.
The Designated/Alternate Healthcare Representatives must not be:
- A person paid to look after you, unless that person is your spouse, civil partner, cohabitant, parent, child, or sibling;
- A person who owns, or works in, a residential or healthcare facility where you are living, unless that person is your spouse, civil partner, cohabitant, parent, child, or sibling;
- Someone who has been convicted of an offence regarding you or your child;
- Someone who has a safety or barring order in relation to you or your child.
When deciding who you would like to be your Designated/Alternate Healthcare Representative, you should ask yourself a couple of questions:
Which friend, relative, or person do you trust, respect, and want to speak on your behalf? Who already knows best what kind of treatment you want at the end of your life?