Respecting Patient Choices®

Who would you like to make medical decisions for you if there came a time when you could no longer speak for yourself?

The Respecting Patient Choices® (RPC) program is an advance care planning program that commenced at the Canberra Hospital in 2006.

The primary objective of the Program is to provide a quality assured system of discussing, recording and documenting a person's healthcare wishes.

Advance Care Planning

Effective planning is the best way to ensure that family and health professionals respect a person’s wishes. In an emergency situation it provides hospitals' treating teams with the necessary information to make decisions in the patient’s best interest in consultation with their chosen attorneys.

There are three ways choices can be recorded:

1. Complete an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA);

2. Complete an Advanced Care Plan (ACP);

3. Complete a Health Direction under the Medical Treatment (Health Directions) Act 2006.

The EPA and Health Direction are legal documents which comply with the Medical Treatment (Health Directions) Act 2006. The ACP provides specific information relating to a person's wishes and values.

If choices about future care are known, they can be respected.

The objectives of appointing an Attorney, completing an ACP or a Health Directive are:

  • to protect a patient's right to refuse unwanted medical treatment, and
  • to ensure a patient's right to receive relief from pain and suffering to the maximum extent that is reasonable in the circumstances.

If choices about future health care are known, they can be respected.


Contact us

If you would like further information or assistance please contact the Respecting Patient Choices® on (02) 6244 3344 or email: