Australian Capital Territory Current Acts

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Decision about health attorney

    (1)     For section 32D (2), in considering who is best able to represent the views of the protected person, a health professional—

        (a)     must consider the health attorneys for the protected person in the priority order; and

        (b)     may take into account any circumstance that the health professional believes on reasonable grounds is relevant and in particular how readily available is a particular health attorney.

Note     The health professional must also follow the decision-making principles (see s 32E).

    (2)     The health professional need not consider a health attorney if the health professional believes on reasonable grounds that the health attorney is not a suitable person to consent to medical treatment for the protected person or to the protected person participating in low-risk research.

    (3)     If subsection (2) applies, a health professional must make a record of the reasons for the belief.

Examples—s (2)

1     Rosa is a protected person and needs a hip replacement operation to ensure her continued mobility and the ability to live in her garden unit which is attached to her son's house. The health professional is made aware that Rosa's son Lorenzo has rented out the garden unit to a friend. As the health professional is aware of a conflict of interests Lorenzo may reasonably be seen as not suitable to consent to the medical treatment.

2     Craig is seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and receives emergency medical treatment that saves his life. A week after the accident he has not regained consciousness. Craig's mother, Clarissa, has been visiting regularly sometimes accompanied by her partner Joel (who is not Craig's father). Joel strongly believes that the use of blood products and blood transfusions is unacceptable because of the risk of transfer of blood infections. Joel has been heard in the hospital demanding that Clarissa refuse any medical treatment that involves the use of blood products. The health professional is made aware of Joel's conversations with Clarissa on the issue. Consent is required to undertake extensive skin grafts involving the use of blood products and possibly a blood transfusion. Clarissa may not be a suitable person to consent to the medical treatment given what may be undue influence exerted by Joel on this issue.

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