Community Knowledge of Law on End-of-life Decision-Making: An Australian Telephone Survey

Community Knowledge of Law on End-of-Life Decision Making: An Australian Telephone Survey Tilse, C. F., Wilson, J., White, B., Willmott, L., Lawson, D. K., Dunn, J., Aitken, J., Pearce, A. & Ferguson, M., 2019, In : Journal of Law and Medicine. 27, 2, p. 399-414 16 p.

28 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2020

See all articles by Cheryl Tilse

Cheryl Tilse

University of Queensland

Jill Wilson

University of Queensland

Ben White

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Lindy Willmott

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Deborah Lawson

University of Otago - Faculty of Law

Jeffrey Dunn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Joanne Aitken

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Angela Pearce

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michele Ferguson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: February 24, 2020

Abstract

The law has a clear role to play in supporting patients and their substitute decision makers (SDMs) to be involved in end-of-life (EOL) decision making. Although existing literature suggests that knowledge of EOL law is variable among health professionals, there is little information of the extent and sources of such knowledge within the general community. A telephone survey of a representative sample of adults in three Australian states used six case scenarios to examine the extent to which adults know their legal duties, rights and powers as patients or SDMs; the sources from which people derive relevant legal knowledge, experiences of EOL decision making and individual characteristics associated with levels of knowledge. The results show considerable variation in levels of legal knowledge dependent primarily of the area of decision making presented, some sizeable gaps in people’s knowledge of EOL law, and varied awareness of how to access appropriate information on this subject. This study points to the need to increase community legal literacy around EOL decision making, enhance awareness of the role of law in these circumstances and promote the availability of reliable and accessible information on the law at the time when it is needed.

Keywords: end-of-life decision making, end-of-life law, end-of-life care, health law

JEL Classification: I10, I18, K10, K32

Suggested Citation

Tilse, Cheryl and Wilson, Jill and White, Ben and Willmott, Lindy and Lawson, Deborah and Dunn, Jeffrey and Aitken, Joanne and Pearce, Angela and Ferguson, Michele, Community Knowledge of Law on End-of-life Decision-Making: An Australian Telephone Survey (February 24, 2020). Community Knowledge of Law on End-of-Life Decision Making: An Australian Telephone Survey Tilse, C. F., Wilson, J., White, B., Willmott, L., Lawson, D. K., Dunn, J., Aitken, J., Pearce, A. & Ferguson, M., 2019, In : Journal of Law and Medicine. 27, 2, p. 399-414 16 p., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3543313

Cheryl Tilse

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Jill Wilson

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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/

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/

Deborah Lawson

University of Otago - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 56
Dunedin North
Dunedin, 9016
New Zealand

Jeffrey Dunn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Joanne Aitken

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Angela Pearce

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michele Ferguson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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