All adults should have the right to make their own decisions. This includes people with disabilities, who should be supported to make decisions that relate to their life and wellbeing.
Some laws define who is legally able to consent to medical treatment on behalf of someone with a disability, should the person with a disability be unable to make reasonable judgements. However, the legal system is complex, and there is no consistent standard across Australia that mediates decision-making in health care.
Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service has published some general information about capacity and consent in a Victorian context. You can contact their free Legal Advice line on 1800 014 111. See here for a list of disability legal services around the country.
It is important that anyone living with a disability, or cares for someone who does, understands the importance of person-centred care, self-advocacy and ways of exercising it, as well as community inclusion and legal rights. There is more information about this topic in the Advocacy and Inclusion section of our website.