Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Article: ‘Can a Relative Override a Patient’s Advance Care Directive?’: End-of-life Legal Worries of General Practitioners and Nurses Working in Aged Care

Ben White (Queensland University of Technology – Faculty of Law), Rachel Feeny (University of Queensland), Marcus Sellars (Independent), Penny Neller (Queensland University of Technology), Patsy Yates (Queensland University of Technology), and Lindy Willmott (Queensland University of Technology – Faculty of Law) recently published, ‘Can a Relative Override a Patient’s Advance Care Directive?’: End-of-life Legal Worries of General Practitioners and Nurses Working in Aged Care2024. Provided below is an abstract:

Background: This paper aimed to describe the legal worries of Australian general practitioners (GPs) and nurses regarding end-of-life care provided in the aged care setting.

Methods: An analysis of responses to the final, open-ended question of a cross-sectional online survey of GPs and nurses practising in aged care settings in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria was undertaken.

Results: Of the 162 GPs and 61 nurses who gave valid responses to the survey, 92% (151 GPs and 55 nurses) responded to the open-ended question. Participants identified concerns across all relevant areas of end-of-life law. The most common concerns were substitute decision-makers or family member(s) wanting to overrule an Advance Care Directive, requests for futile or non-beneficial treatment and conflict about end-of-life decision-making. Participants often also identified concerns about their lack of legal knowledge and their fear of law or risk related to both end-of-life care generally and providing medication that may hasten death.

Conclusions: Australian GPs and nurses working in aged care have broad-ranging legal concerns about providing end-of-life care. Legal concerns and knowledge gaps identified here highlight priority areas for future training of the aged care workforce.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2024/04/article-can-a-relative-override-a-patients-advance-care-directive-end-of-life-legal-worries-of-gener.html

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