Drafting, Advising and Interpreting Advance Care Directives – Working Through Key Issues with Experts
Room 920, Level 9
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
T: 03 83441011
This interactive workshop will provide information about the legal framework for advance care directives in Victoria and will address their legal status since the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 was implemented in 2018. Discussion of a hypothetical case study with a panel of experts will provide an opportunity to think through key issues including decision making capacity, witnessing, involvement of family and clinicians.
The workshop will be of interest to lawyers and healthcare professionals working in Victoria. It will cover substantive law, ethics and professional skills. On completion of this workshop attendees will be able to confidently draft and provide advice on advance care directives.
Panel of experts includes:
Rowan Hearn, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Calvary Health Care Bethlehem
Claire McNamara, Legal Officer, Office of the Public Advocate
Linda Nolte, Program Director, Advance Care Planning Australia
Kathy Whiteside, Advance Care Planning Co-ordinator, Austin Health
Kate Robins-Browne, GP in North Melbourne
Registration and refreshments
5:30 - 5:40
Aims of workshop and introduction to the panel
Dr Carolyn Johnston, Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Law School
5.40 – 6.00
Clinicians’ experiences and challenges of advance care directives in practice
Dr Rowan Hearn Dr Kate Robins-Browne
6.00 – 6.30
Overview and discussion of key issues of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016
Two types of directives: values and instructional directives
Role of the lawyer/doctor
Content of advance care directive: format, wording
Capacity to make an advance care directive
Witnessing an advance care directive
Engaging clinicians in the process
6.30 – 7.10
Interactive discussion between delegates and expert panel on the hypothetical - legal and ethical aspects of providing advice
Professor Lynn Gillam, University of Melbourne
Marge is 65 years old. She has 3 adult children, two live interstate and one in the US. She has recently re-partnered and is living with Bill. Over the last year Marge has become increasingly forgetful and ‘not herself’ and Bill is rather concerned, although they have not seen their GP. Marge’s eldest daughter, Carol, is a lawyer living in Brisbane. She visited Marge and Bill last week and there was a heated discussion between Bill and Carol about getting Marge’s affairs in order. Bill and Marge have discussed what sort of health treatment Marge would want in the future and have done some research online about their options if Marge were to lose capacity and a decision had to be made about her healthcare. Together they go to see their GP and ask about making an advance care directive. Some time later they go to see their lawyer in Melbourne to make a will and ‘put their affairs in order’.
7.10 – 7.25
New ways of documenting advance care directives
Presentation by JD students, Melbourne Law School on their Law App: Video Advance Care Directives
7.25 – 7.30
Concluding remarks and close of workshop
Dr Carolyn Johnston, Senior Lecturer
Dr Carolyn Johnston
The University of Melbourne.
Carolyn Johnston is Senior Lecturer and a member of the research team focussing on Health Law and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX) at Melbourne Law School. She is deputy director of the MLS Health Law & Ethics Network which promotes interdisciplinary research, teaching and engagement in health law and ethics, and fosters collaboration among scholars and clinicians. Carolyn has provided academic commentary on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic) and published on legal and ethical issues at the end of life with a focus on advance care decisions. She is Clinical Ethicist at Monash Children’s Hospital.
Dr Kate Robins-Browne, Royal Park Medical
Dr Kate Robins-Browne
Royal Park Medical
Dr Kate RobinsBrowne is a GP in North Melbourne. Her research interest is in clinical ethics. Her PhD utilised narrative and relational ethics to explore older people’s understandings of decisions making when they cannot participate.
Professor Lynn Gillam, University of Melbourne
Professor Lynn Gillam
University of Melbourne
Lynn Gillam is an experienced clinical ethicist, originally trained in philosophy (MA, 1988, Oxon) and bioethics (PhD, Monash, 2000). Lynn is the Academic Director of the Children’s Bioethics Centre at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. She is also Professor in Health Ethics at the University of Melbourne, in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Lynn works in clinical ethics case consultation at RCH, and has been involved in over 200 ethics consultation since 2005. At RCH she also provides policy advice and leads research into a range of issues in paediatric clinical ethics including end of life decisionmaking, management of differences of sex development, informationgiving to children, and parental refusal of treatment. In 2018, Lynn was awarded the RCH Chairman’s Medal, in recognition of this work. At the University, Lynn teaches ethics in the university’s MD course, and supervises research students in ethics and qualitative health research. She is also the Chair of the University’s Central Human Research Ethics Committee. In 2019, Lynn was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to medical education in the field of bioethics.
Kathy Whiteside, Advance Care Planning Coordinator
Advance Care Planning Coordinator
Kathy completed her Nursing Degree (B. Nsg with Dist.) in 1994, then a Grad. Dip. in Clinical Practice and Management(1998) and Grad. Dip. in Critical Care (2002). Working as an Intensive Care Nurse experiencing the complexity and emotional turmoil of families invoved in treatment discussions about their loved ones led her to her current role in advance care planning as ACP Coordinator for Austin Health. She has a clinical role seeing referred patients wanting to complete ACP documentation; an administrative role ensuring there are systems in place so that a patient’s advance care planning documentation is readily available to clinicians at the point of care when needed; and an education role ensuring clinical staff are aware of their responsibilities in relation to advance care planning generally and consent for people who lack capacity to make medical treatment decisions.
Linda Nolte, Program Director
Advanced Care Planning Australia
Linda is the Program Director of Advance Care Planning Australia. She was previously the Manager of the Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre. She has worked in the Victorian DHHS in policy and program implementation as well as acute, aged and community health in Australia and internationally. She is passionate about rightsbased health care. She is currently undertaking post graduate studies in Health and Medical Law at Melbourne University. She has published research in both cancer survivorship and advance care planning.
Claire McNamara, Legal Officer
Office of the Public Advocate
Claire McNamara is Senior Legal Officer at the Office of the Public Advocate. Claire has worked at the Office of the Public Advocate since 2005, initially in the role of Advocate Guardian and in the role of Legal Officer since 2008. Claire has delivered many presentations on Advanced Care Planning and the legal framework of medical substitute decisionmaking to healthcare professionals.
Dr Rowan Hearn, Clinical Director Palliative Medicine
Dr Rowan Hearn
Clinical Director Palliative Medicine
Calvary Health Care Bethlehem
Rowan Hearn is a doctor specialising in palliative medicine. He is the clinical director for palliative medicine at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem, a Catholicrun hospice, which includes a large community team. He has extensive experience providing end of life care and palliative care in hospitals, hospices and the home, in both Australia and the United Kingdom.