Health Care Decision Maker Discussion Paper

The Office of the Public Guardian is proposing amendments to NT law to improve health care decision making processes when a patient does not have the capacity to make those decisions themselves.

A discussion paper has been developed, with the support of the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice’s Legal Policy area, to give the public and relevant organisations an opportunity to provide comments and submissions.

The Health Care Decision Maker discussion paper is available on the department’s website and includes details on how to make a submission and other ways to provide feedback.

The discussion paper gives a comprehensive overview of the legal situation and proposes some changes to improve response times and outcomes for patients when they need others to make health care decision for them.

In addition, the following scenario and questions will help identify some of the key issues.

Scenario

A patient is rushed to hospital in an unconscious state.

There is no immediate danger of death or further deterioration of their health but questions arise about what kind of treatment they should be given.

In the absence of someone previously agreed by the patient to be their decision maker, who should make decisions about their medical treatment?

Should the decision be made by health care provider, next of kin or an independent government officer (such as the public guardian) or by a judicial body such as the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal?

The Office of the Public Guardian is proposing amendments to NT law to improve health care decision making processes when a patient does not have the capacity to make those decisions themselves.

A discussion paper has been developed, with the support of the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice’s Legal Policy area, to give the public and relevant organisations an opportunity to provide comments and submissions.

The Health Care Decision Maker discussion paper is available on the department’s website and includes details on how to make a submission and other ways to provide feedback.

The discussion paper gives a comprehensive overview of the legal situation and proposes some changes to improve response times and outcomes for patients when they need others to make health care decision for them.

In addition, the following scenario and questions will help identify some of the key issues.

Scenario

A patient is rushed to hospital in an unconscious state.

There is no immediate danger of death or further deterioration of their health but questions arise about what kind of treatment they should be given.

In the absence of someone previously agreed by the patient to be their decision maker, who should make decisions about their medical treatment?

Should the decision be made by health care provider, next of kin or an independent government officer (such as the public guardian) or by a judicial body such as the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal?

  • The Office of the Public Guardian is proposing amendments to NT law to improve health care decision making processes when a patient does not have the capacity to make those decisions themselves.

    A discussion paper has been developed, with the support of the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice’s Legal Policy area, to give the public and relevant organisations an opportunity to provide comments and submissions.

    Please read the Discussion Paper before taking the survey.


    The Office of the Public Guardian is proposing amendments to NT law to improve health care decision making processes when a patient does not have the capacity to make those decisions themselves.

    A discussion paper has been developed, with the support of the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice’s Legal Policy area, to give the public and relevant organisations an opportunity to provide comments and submissions.

    Please read the Discussion Paper before taking the survey.


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