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

See all articles by Thomas Alured Faunce

Thomas Alured Faunce

Australian National University

Ruth Townsend

ANU College of Law

Date Written: January 17, 2012

Abstract

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consequentialist interest not only in facilitating advance directives that allow technically ‘futile’ treatment to be withdrawn or withheld from incompetent patients, but in permitting physician assisted suicide when requested by competent, non-depressed patients with a terminal illness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

Faunce, Thomas Alured and Townsend, Ruth, A Comparative Perspective on Australian End-of-Life Law (January 17, 2012). SELF-DETERMINATION, DIGNITY AND END OF LIFE CARE, pp. 173-194, S. Negri, ed., Brill NY, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1987213

Thomas Alured Faunce (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 61253563 (Phone)

Ruth Townsend

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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