Health Alert New Victorian Medical Treatment Laws

Posted by Sharyn Rognrust, Category: Clinical Practise, General Practice, Health Reform, Quality Improvement,

Health practitioners, hospitals, aged care and other health facilities will be affected by new medical treatment laws.

The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 will commence on 12 March 2018 and introduces a new scheme for individuals to create binding Advance Care Directives and to appoint medical treatment decision makers and support persons.

The new Act will consolidate existing laws into the one piece of legislation including: the definition of medical treatment; requirements for capacity assessments; substitute decision makers under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986; and medical powers of attorney under the Powers of Attorney Act 2014.

The Act continues to exclude palliative care from the medical treatment decision-making process and does not allow a person to make an instructional directive about palliative care.  While a medical treatment decision-maker remains prohibited from making decisions about a ‘special medical procedure’[1], a person is able to refuse a ‘special procedure’ in an instructional directive more information