GP’s role in Advance Care Planning

Australian Medical Association

The AMA Vice President and Advance Care Planning Australia ambassador, Dr Chris Moy, highlighted GPs’ role in assisting patients to plan for their future health.

The National Advance Care Planning week, 21 to 27 March 2022, is a reminder for Australians to talk to their loved ones about who they would want to speak for them if they become too sick to speak for themselves.

Dr Chris Moy said that GP plays an important role in helping patients with the planning process by discussing patients’ current and possible future health situations, helping them to clearly articulate their preferences, and regularly reviewing their advance care plan.

“Advance care planning is a process of planning for your future health and personal care by ensuring your values, beliefs and preferences are known to guide those who will make health care decisions on your behalf, should you lose capacity in the future,” Dr Moy explained.

“The AMA strongly supports advance care planning as it benefits everyone, the patient, their family, carers and health professionals and is particularly important for people with advanced chronic illness, a life-limiting illness, who are aged 75+ years or at risk of losing competence.

“Advance care planning assists healthcare professionals and organisations by reducing unnecessary transfers to acute care and unwanted treatment,” Dr Moy added.

He advised that advance care planning discussions, and clearly delineating ‘goals of care’, should become a key part of routine healthcare conversations across Australia.

Visit the Advance Care Planning Australia website for further resources on advance care planning.

The AMA’s Position Statement on End of Life Care and Advance Care Planning can be found here.

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