The McCabe Centre and Cancer Council Victoria's Strategy and Support Division are partnering with Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Centre for Health Law Research in an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, "Enhancing Community Knowledge and Engagement with Law at the End of Life". The project will be led by QUT Law Professors Ben White and Lindy Willmott, with Cancer Council Queensland and Cancer Council NSW also partnering.
This project explores how and if members of the community understand and act upon their legal right to participate in decisions about medical treatment for themselves or for their loved ones at the end of life. The research will focus on the jurisdictions of Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales and address three key issues:
1. Whether people affected by cancer and substitute decision-makers know their legal rights and duties in relation to decisions about life-sustaining treatment;
2. Their current practice when making decisions about life-sustaining treatment (including where conflict with health professionals and health systems arises); and
3. How they can be better supported to make decisions that accord with their legal rights and duties.
This research aims to enhance patient and family decision-making through a better understanding of legal rights, powers and duties and to improve the experiences of patients and families at the end of life. The research will also inform recommendations to government to improve law, policy and practice in this area.
QUT Centre for Health Law Research