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Substitute decision making (South Australia)

CPD Hours



Aged care
All Modules
Palliative care
Managing people and resources
Law, ethics and professional responsibilities


This module focuses on the legal concept of substitute decision making. It explores the various forms of  substitute decision making that apply throughout Australia and discusses the specific laws as they relate to the South Australia.

This module provides definitions of the types of substitute decision making arrangements and discusses how different powers are used when assigning a substitute decision maker.

Substitute decision makers must have a good understanding of and respect for the wishes of those they are making decisions for. They are required to act when the person they are making decisions for is incapable of making their own decisions and they must consider the wishes of the person they are acting on behalf of.  

This module is recommended for people providing nursing care to people in acute and non-acute settings. It is useful as a refresher for those familiar with the various substitute decision making arrangements or as an introduction to anyone without prior knowledge of the relevant medico-legal concepts in the health care environment.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand the types of substitute decision making arrangements.
  • Understand the functions of substitute decision makers depending on the type of power assigned.
  • Understand the difference between the various powers that an individual can assign and what the powers can be used for.

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