Interpreting an instructional directive

An instructional directive in an advance care directive made under the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act is a legally binding statement in which the person who completes it consents to, or refuses, particular forms of medical treatment or a medical research procedure, or a course of treatment. It is directed to the person's health practitioners.

The consent or refusal may be given so as to apply in all circumstances, only in specified circumstances, or in all circumstances except specified circumstances.

A person cannot include any statement in their instructional directive that:

  • is unlawful or would require an unlawful act to be performed
  • would, if given effect to, cause you to contravene a professional standard or code of conduct.

If a person has included such a statement, it is void.