A Comparative Perspective on Australian End-of-Life Law
SELF-DETERMINATION, DIGNITY AND END OF LIFE CARE, pp. 173-194, S. Negri, ed., Brill NY, 2011
22 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2012
Date Written: January 17, 2012
The Italian Eluana Englaro Case and the related Italian Bill “Dispositions in matter of therapeutic alliance, informed consent and advance directives” highlight a number of significant points of divergence with regulation of end-of-life decision-making and advance directives under Australian state and federal law. This chapter aims to provide a comparative overview of Australian case law and statutory provisions in this area. It discusses these differences in the context of a view that regardless of the deontological importance of respecting individual patient rights in end-of-life decision-making, the financial constraints upon governments to care for an ageing population will increasingly provide consequentialist interest not only in facilitating advance directives that allow technically ‘futile’ treatment to be withdrawn or withheld from incompetent patients, but in permitting physician assisted suicide when requested by competent, non-depressed patients with a terminal illness who have already received reasonable palliative care.
Keywords: End of Life Care, Euthanasia, Withdrawing Treatment, Double Effect, Advance Directives, Physician Assisted Suicide
JEL Classification: H41, H51, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation