Refusing Advance Refusals: Advance Directives and Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment

32 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2016

See all articles by Lindy Willmott

Lindy Willmott

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Ben White

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Michelle Howard

Independent

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

The law recognises the right of a competent adult to make an advance refusal of life-sustaining medical treatment. However, this right is not unqualified and there are circumstances in which a health professional or a court will be permitted to disregard an advance directive. Underpinning this qualified right is the tension between the principles of self-determination or autonomy, and sanctity of life. This article explores the excuses available in Australia to health professionals who do not wish to comply with an advance directive. It compares the common law with those jurisdictions that have enacted legislation, and evaluates and critiques the different excuses available.

Keywords: Advance directives, Adult guardianship law, End of life decision-making, Living wills

Suggested Citation

Willmott, Lindy and White, Ben and Howard, Michelle, Refusing Advance Refusals: Advance Directives and Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment (2006). Melbourne Univeristy Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2806844

Lindy Willmott

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/willmott/

Ben White (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/whiteb/

Michelle Howard

Independent

No Address Available

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
10
Abstract Views
171
PlumX Metrics