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Talking it Thru: Program Engagement in ACP
Who makes use of the enduring guardianship provisions in Tasmania (Australia) and what do they write on the forms?
  1. R Thomas1,
  2. M Ashby2 and
  3. R Thornton3
  1. 1Department of Health and Human Services, Australia
  2. 2Royal Hobart Hospital and University of Tasmania, Australia
  3. 3Donate Life Tasmania, Australia


Under the provisions of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 in the state of Tasmania (Australia), the document of appointment has to be registered with the Guardianship and Administration Board. This study therefore provides an unusual opportunity to learn what people write in their Enduring Guardianship (EG) forms, who they appoint as enduring guardians, and also gives other valuable demographic information about the appointment of substitute decision-makers, the making of advance care directives in Tasmania. It also gives a rare opportunity to obtain ‘denominator’ data about the uptake of these provisions in a defined jurisdiction.

A total of 502 EG forms were analysed, out of a total of 10 040 forms lodged at the time of the study, since 1995. This represents a 2% uptake by a population of approximately 500 000 over a 15-year period. In total there were 298 females and 176 males, with 28 forms where gender was not recorded.

The majority of the sample consisted of forms completed by retired persons aged over 60. Despite the fact that legal assistance is not necessary to complete an EG form, 197/502 (39%) showed evidence of some qualified legal input.

238/502 (47%) of the forms contained some kind of statement about care at the end of life, and indicated a preference for the deployment of timely and appropriate palliative care.

Persons who appoint enduring guardians in Tasmania are predominantly older retired citizens, whose single most frequently expressed concern is for palliative care at the end of life.

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