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Guidelines and Policies

Developing and Using Advance Care Directives NSW
NSW Health
The guide aims to assist health professionals to discuss advanced care planning with patients, and to clarify how to use an advanced care directive as part of that process.

End of Life Care Decision Making Guidelines
NSW Health
Guidelines set out a process of decision making in regards to end-of-life.

Toolkits and Protocols

Advance Care Directives NSW
NSW Department of Health

Advance Care Directive v1.0 Cth
National E-Health Transition Authority

Advance Care Planning Documents New South Wales
ASLaRC Aged Services Unit – Southern Cross University

Advance Directives
University of Illinois College of Medicine

Advance Health Care Directive
Queensland Powers of Attorney Act 1998

Advance Health Care Directives and Enduring Guardianship in NSW
Dying with Dignity New South Wales

Consent Tool Kit 5th Edition
UK – British Medical Association
The tool kit consists of a series of cards relating to specific areas of consent such as providing treatment to children; consent and research; and obtaining consent for teaching purposes. Separate cards have been produced identifying factors to be considered when assessing competence and determining “best interests”.

Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW) s33(3) NSW
Act allows incompetent patients to refuse treatment in advance, provided they were competent at the time of making the advance directive.


H Ltd v J [2010] SASC 176
A 73-year-old partially paralysed woman who was suffering from post polio syndrome and diabetes wished to end her life by refusing to eat and drink and refused insulin. Had made an advance directive refusing artificial nutrition and hydration. Kourakis J found that there was no common law duty imposed on J to eat and drink and there was no duty on the part of the nursing home to force-feed her.

Hunter New England Area Health Service v A [2009] NSWSC 761 NSW
The case concerns a unconscious patient who had an advance care directive refusing certain treatments. Issues: whether directive was a valid indication of patient’s desire and whether patient had capacity to make the directive. Provides an excellent summary of the principles on consent and advance care directives.

Qumsieh v GAB and Pilgrim
[1998] VSA 45 Vic
Highlights some of the issues with the refusal of medical treatment, the use of advance care directives and guardianship orders.

Papers, Reports and Books

Determining the Validity of Advance Directives
(2000) 172 Med J Aust 545
Authors: Paul Biegler, Cameron Stewart, Julian Savulescu and Loane Skene
Examines the ethical principles underpinning advance directives (ADs) and the legal duties of doctors in determining their validity.

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