Operation of guardianship laws in the emergency ward

Mendelson, Danuta and Saunders, Anne 2011, Operation of guardianship laws in the emergency ward, Journal of law and medicine, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 13-31.

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Title Operation of guardianship laws in the emergency ward
Author(s) Mendelson, Danuta
Saunders, Anne
Journal name Journal of law and medicine
Volume number 19
Issue number 1
Start page 13
End page 31
Publisher Lawbook Co.
Place of publication North Ryde, NSW
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1320-159X
Summary Enduring and workable legislative schemes typically include (a) a balanced approach to the rights and duties of all parties under their purview; and (b) consideration of all major consequences that may flow from the codification of underpinning doctrines. This column examines the 1999 amendments to the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (Vic) regulating patients’ consent to medical treatment focusing on their application in modern emergency departments. The legislation needs to reconcile the human rights principle that humane and appropriate treatment is a fundamental right of all those who suffer from ill health and disease, with the principle that all patients (including those with impaired, but not totally absent, decisional capacity) have an absolute right to refuse life-saving treatment. Consent and refusal of treatment provisions should be based on the notion of reasonableness, including recognition that the mental and emotional states experienced by physically ill people may, in the short term, adversely affect their decision-making capacity. Unless the consent legislation factors in the realities of modern emergency practice and resources, statutory thresholds for decisional competence, instead of affording protection, may result in much worse outcomes for vulnerable patients.
Language eng
Field of Research 180112 Equity and Trusts Law
Socio Economic Objective 970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Lawbook Co.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30038842

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Law
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