Historic legislation to give Yuroke locals a say on end-of-life care

People in Yuroke have a chance to shape how new historic laws will be implemented to give people greater powers to set directives about their future medical treatment, including end-of-life preferences and wishes.

In a Victorian first, the Andrews Labor Government will deliver on a key election promise and introduce new laws into Parliament this year to protect advance care directives in legislation.

As part of this work, Member for Yuroke Ros Spence is calling for feedback on the Simplifying Medical Treatment Decision Making and Advance Care Planning position paper which will inform how the legislation should be implemented.

An advance care directive is a legally binding document designed to make a person’s preferences for future medical treatment clear when that person no longer has the capacity to make decisions directly themselves.

Existing laws are exceedingly complex and do not provide certainty about how people would like to be supported at the end of their lives.

The Government’s legislation will simplify the law, and make it easier for health professionals to understand their obligations to provide medical treatment in line with people’s preferences, and for patients to have their end-of-life care wishes known and respected.

It will enable people with decision making capacity to prepare an advance care directive outlining the kind of medical care they would want, or that they do not want, administered in the event of current or future conditions such as cancer, brain damage or dementia.

This includes giving binding instructions and describing personal values, appointing a medical treatment decision maker and appointing a support person.

The legislation will take into consideration relevant recommendations from the Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into End-of-Life choices, and the Government will provide a full response to the Inquiry in due course.

The Position Paper can be viewed at www.health.vic.gov.au/acp submissions must be sent to acp.responses@dhhs.vic.gov.au by Friday 29 July.

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