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Advance directives and the persistent vegetative state in Victoria: a human rights perspective

Porter, Deborah 2005, Advance directives and the persistent vegetative state in Victoria: a human rights perspective, Journal of law and medicine, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 256-270.

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Title Advance directives and the persistent vegetative state in Victoria: a human rights perspective
Author(s) Porter, Deborah
Journal name Journal of law and medicine
Volume number 13
Issue number 2
Start page 256
End page 270
Publisher Law Book Co.
Place of publication North Ryde, N.S.W.
Publication date 2005
ISSN 1320-159X
Keyword(s) Human Rights
Medical Ethics
Medical Law
Summary With advances in medical technology, it is now possible to sustain the life of a person in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) until a decision is made to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment. Who makes that decision? Under the Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic) there is no legally enforceable right for a person to choose, in advance, what intervention that person will and will not accept if he or she ends up in a PVS. The best that can be achieved is that a person can appoint an agent who is empowered to refuse medical treatment on the person's behalf in the event of incompetence. It is suggested that this mechanism ignores two fundamental human rights: self-determination and the inherent right to dignity. This article proposes the development of an advance directive mechanism that provides for a person to refuse, in advance, specified intervention, thereby respecting fundamental human rights and alleviating the existing need for an agent to second-guess a person's desires and best interests.
Language eng
Field of Research 180114 Human Rights Law
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Lawbook Co.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30022159

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Law
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Created: Mon, 18 Jan 2010, 12:49:35 EST by Gabrielle Lamb

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