Psychiatric advance directives in Australian mental-health legislation
Objective: Following the recent widespread reform of mental-health legislation in Australia, psychiatric advance directives (PADs) have now been incorporated in four jurisdictions. We contextualise the potential role for PADs within the Australian legal framework and note their varying introduction across jurisdictions, with a focus on progressive legislation in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Conclusion: The formal recognition of PADs effectively shifts the trajectory of mental-health law towards a stronger recognition of consumer autonomy, albeit to varying degrees across jurisdictions. The most inspiring of these changes may be seen in the ACT Act, where an innovative framing of PAD provisions creates a safe space for clinicians and patients to engage, build therapeutic alliances and develop appropriate frameworks for further change.