Seek advice about medical treatment for someone

If you are someone’s medical treatment decision maker Definition A person who has the authority to make medical treatment decisions on behalf of another person. or health practitioner, you can apply to get advice or direction from VCAT about whether a form of medical treatment is appropriate for that person.

Who is a medical treatment decision maker?

An adult’s medical treatment decision maker is one of the following:

  • someone formally appointed in the role
  • their guardian Definition A person who makes personal lifestyle decisions on behalf of someone with a disability, including decisions about their living arrangements, work arrangements, medical treatment and access to people and services. (who was appointed by VCAT)
  • their medical agent or their guardian for medical treatment (as the term medical treatment decision maker was known before March 2018)
  • their spouse or domestic partner, primary carer, adult child, parent or adult sibling.

A child’s medical treatment decision maker is their parent, guardian or another person with parental responsibility.

Who can apply?

Only a person’s medical treatment decision maker or health practitioner can apply.

Documents you need to apply

  • A current medical report which addresses the person’s capacity to make medical treatment decisions - download our medical report template and give this to their medical practitioner.
  • A copy of the medical treatment decision maker appointment or medical enduring power of attorney (if you are a medical treatment decision maker formally appointed into this role).
  • A copy of the advance care directive Definition A document that sets out a person’s binding instructions or preferences and values about medical treatment. The directive is referred to when the person does not have the capacity to make decisions about their medical treatment. (if it exists).
  • Any other documentation to support your application.


There are no application or hearing Definition The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. fees.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.

Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.

Need help with your application?

VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following services may be able to help you:

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. For more about applying for confidentiality.

Legislation that applies to this type of case