Advanced Care Directives Bill 2012
What follows are the parts of the
Advanced Care Directives Bill 2012 that
pertain to protection of freedom of conscience. Note the following:
- Section 3 defines health care and medical treatment in such a
way that the terms include nutrition and hydration.
- Section 6 limits patients to refusing health care and medical
treatment (as defined). They are not permitted to demand
health care or medical treatment (as defined), which is provided
solely at the discretion of the health care provider.
- Section 12 prevents patients from making demands for actions
that would be illegal or contrary to a professional standards or
code of conduct.
- Section 1
- Section 12(3) excludes institutional or denominational
standards or ethical codes from this saving, so that they can be
overridden by patient demands.
- Section 37 requires conscientious objectors to facilitate the
provision of the services to which they object.
As ov 30 November, 2012, the bill had passed the House of Assembly
and was before the Legislative Council, the upper house in the South
(1) Despite any other provision of this Act, a health practitioner
may refuse to comply with a provision of an advance care directive
(whether binding or non-binding) on conscientious grounds.
(2) However, if a health practitioner refuses to comply with a
provision of an advance
care directive under subsection (1), he or she must take reasonable
(a) provide the person who gave the advance care
directive, or a substitute
decision-maker appointed under the advance care directive, the name and
contact information of another health practitioner practising in the
field who the health practitioner reasonably believes will not refuse to
with the provision on conscientious grounds; and
(b) if the person or the substitute decision-maker
so requires, provide a referral to that health practitioner.