Background Although New Zealand does not have specific statutes governing advance directives, the Consumer Code provides the right of a consumer to make an advance directive in accordance with the common law. The Advance Care Planning Cooperative in New Zealand has been working towards engaging the public in care planning and participating with the district health boards to promote the same.
Aim An examination of whether there are policies in place for advance care planning in the various district health boards and whether they provide the opportunity for people to be involved in making advance care plans.
Methods I reviewed the received responses from the major district health boards in New Zealand soliciting information on the availability of advance care plans or if there are any advance care plans policies in place.
Results There are positive indications that advance care planning is in the process of being implemented in the various district health boards surveyed, and they are carried out in specific healthcare units for the time being. Responses are still being received on an ongoing basis at the time of writing but based on the current situations, the response has been encouraging.
Discussion Although there are no formal policies in place, the healthcare providers have taken the initiatives to introduce and implement advance care plans to the public.
Conclusion Advance care planning has the potential to facilitate the end-of-life care conversations and supportive programmes are being implemented giving the opportunity for the public to engage in advance care planning.
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