Citizens Commission on Human Rights

The Mental Health Watchdog

Australian National Office

Living Wills

Pen on top of living will documentA Living Will is a document which provides for people of sound mind to reject the imposition of psychiatric treatment should their rights be compromised at any time in their future.

Legal advice as to the suitability of content for your circumstances and the state of Australia you live in should be obtained. It is also recommended that you consult your medical practitioner about your required content.

Talk to a lawyer about the suitability for your circumstances of a Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney. Your state government will also have information on this area.

Living Wills signingLiving Wills in State Mental Health Acts

In recent years some states of Australia including ACT, Qld, Vic and WA have written Living Wills into their Mental Health Acts. The Living Wills that have been written into Australian Mental Health Acts may be called Advance Statements, Advance Health Directives, Advance Consent Directions or similar depending on the state. The degree to which they are legally binding under the various Mental Health Acts and the state lived in varies. Legal advice should be obtained regarding suitability for your circumstances. While it is a good start that Living Wills are being written into the Mental Health Acts, they must be made legally binding in all states for psychiatric treatment, with no-one having the ability to overturn one except the person it applies to.

  • For assistance in locating a suitable lawyer in your state, please see the Legal Resources page.
  • To lodge a complaint about a psychiatrist, psychiatric institution or psychiatric drugs, please see the Complaints page.