Australia: children authorised to write advance care directives

Publié le 23 Oct, 2017

In Australia, the state of Victoria has authorised children “of any age” to write advance care directives. Until now, regardless of country, the law “gives the last word to parents” regarding medical decisions concerning their children.

 

 From March 2018, when the new provision takes effect, children will be able “to decide their treatment preferences” “provided that they are competent when making that decision” and the document is recorded by a doctor and a second witness. If a child writes an advance care directive in which he/she refuses a specific medical treatment such as dialysis or chemotherapy, the practitioner will be obliged not to administer such treatment.

 

 The issue of “child competence” is still an “important and controversial debate” amongst Australian bioethicists.

BioEdge, Micheal Cook (07/10/2017)

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