Advance Care Planning in Australia during the COVID-19 Outbreak: Now More Important Than Ever

Internal Medicine Journal, Vol. 50, No. 8, p. 918-923 (2020)

6 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2020

See all articles by Craig Sinclair

Craig Sinclair

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR)

Linda Nolte

Austin Health

Ben White

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Karen Detering

Austin Health

Date Written: August 6, 2020

Abstract

The novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) outbreak has led to rapid and profound changes in healthcare system delivery and society more broadly. Older adults, and those living with chronic or life‐limiting conditions, are at increased risk of experiencing severe or critical symptoms associated with COVID‐19 infection and are more likely to die. They may also experience non‐COVID‐19 related deterioration in their health status during this period. Advance care planning (ACP) is critical for this cohort, yet there is no coordinated strategy for increasing the low rates of ACP uptake in these groups, or more broadly. This paper outlines a number of key reasons why ACP is an urgent priority, and should form a part of the health system's COVID‐19 response strategy. These include reducing the need for rationing, planning for surges in healthcare demand, respecting human rights, enabling proactive care coordination and leveraging societal change. We conclude with key recommendations for policy and practice in the system‐wide implementation of ACP, to enable a more ethical, coordinated and person‐centred response in the COVID‐19 context.

Keywords: advance care planning, COVID-19, human rights

JEL Classification: I14, I12, I10, I18, I19, K32, K39

Suggested Citation

Sinclair, Craig and Nolte, Linda and White, Ben and Detering, Karen, Advance Care Planning in Australia during the COVID-19 Outbreak: Now More Important Than Ever (August 6, 2020). Internal Medicine Journal, Vol. 50, No. 8, p. 918-923 (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3668711

Craig Sinclair

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Linda Nolte

Austin Health ( email )

145 Studley Rd
Heidelberg VIC 3084, Melbourne
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/

Karen Detering

Austin Health ( email )

145 Studley Rd
Heidelberg VIC 3084, Melbourne
Australia

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