In early July of this year, I wrote a blog post detailing two proposed Criminal Law Reform bills: the Disclosure and Criminal Reform Act 2015 (the “Disclosure Act”) and the Criminal Jurisdiction and Procedure Act 2015 (the “Procedure Act”). At that point, the Bills had been passed by the House of Assembly on 5 June 2015 and remained to be debated in the Senate.
For a diversity of reasons, many of us are unwilling to properly contemplate our own beliefs and preferences concerning the subject of end-of-life care. Some of us are young enough that we have no sense of our own mortality – we are invincible and have the advantage of a seemingly infinite time horizon to get serious about the serious stuff. Others of us are older and although we want to be responsible adults and save our families from the stress of making life and death decisions on our behalf, we also worry that we may be tempting fate by making plans. The same holds true for those of us suffering from chronic and/or terminal illness. At the end of life, whenever and however that may unfold, the best that we can hope to achieve is death with comfort and dignity, in whatever manner each of us conceives of that. There is quite possibly no more important issue about which to exercise self-determination. For this reason, for the purposes of enshrining our end of life preferences, so there may be no doubt of our wishes, everyone should have an “Advance Directive for Healthcare” or “Living Will”.
None of us likes to consider the possibility that we may one day find ourselves unable to manage our own affairs. It is a boon that we can expect to live longer, but longer life often involves a loss of independence, and the possibility of that loss of independence necessitates forward planning. It is essential to ensure that someone can take up your day to day responsibilities in the event that you lose physical or mental capacity and one of the simplest and most cost-effective tools available for these purposes is the Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPOA”).