Advance Care Planning
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Person Responsible

Person Responsible

Person Responsible is the legal term in NSW for your surrogate decision maker. Your Person Responsible is the person who is legally able to make decisions on your behalf if you could not communicate your decision yourself.
The NSW Guardianship Act determines your Person Responsible according to the following hierarchy:

  1. An Enduring Guardian or a guardian appointed by the NSW Guardianship Tribunal.
  2. Your spouse or de facto partner with whom you have a close ongoing relationship.
  3. Your carer. This is a person who provides ongoing regular care; not a paid care worker or volunteer.
  4. A close friend or relative with whom you have an ongoing relationship.

If you have any doubts or want to change this order, you can legally appoint the person/s you prefer as your Enduring Guardian (the first person in the hierarchy)

By law, doctors must get consent from their patient or their patient’s Person Responsible prior to any proposed treatment. It is therefore important that this person is aware of your wishes so that he/she can speak on your behalf.

In some cultures, there are different rules and expectations regarding this issue. In some cases, observing cultural traditions may mean that the person who becomes the Person Responsible is not the right person for the job. Ways of avoiding this happening is to get the people you rely on talking about the issue or legally appointing the person/s you prefer as your Enduring Guardian