Media release from National Ethics Advisory Committee:
Conversations that Count
An advisory committee for ethical issues in healthcare supports
the National Advance Care Planning Cooperative's national awareness
day, Conversations that Count.
The National Ethics Advisory Committee provides independent advice
to the Minister of Health on ethical issues related to health and
disability research and services.
Committee Chair Victoria Hinson says the Conversations that
Count day is a reminder to make sure our loved ones know what is
important to us and how this might impact on our health and our
It's helpful for others to know what we would want if we are
incapacitated and no longer able to make decisions for
She says it is often the hardest conversations that end up being
the most worthwhile.
Advance care planning is a useful process for that conversation,
as it provides a prompt for some of the things that are important
for us to discuss with our loved ones.
Understandably many people think that these conversations can
wait till they're nearing the end of their life.
But sometimes we can leave it too late, so it's a good idea for
adults of any age to talk about their wishes.
The Committee has talked to a range of health professionals
about their experiences of the ethical challenges in advance care
planning - such as when to start having the conversation and how to
interpret an advance care plan.
The Committee has prepared practical advice for health
professionals based on these discussions. This advice is
expected to be released shortly.