End of Life Law in Australia

Publications and Presentations

Academics from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR) publish extensively about the law at end of life in journals and books. ACHLR has also hosted public lectures and conferences on topics relating to end of life, presented by eminent scholars from around the world. Selected publications and presentations can be viewed below.

Advance Care Directives and Advance Care Planning

White, Ben, Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, Rosenman, Linda, Strub, Tanya, Feeney, Rachel, & Silvester, William. (2014). Prevalence and predictors of advance directives in Australia. Internal Medicine Journal, 44(10), pp. 975-980.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, & Purser, Kelly. (2013). Advance health directives: Competing perceptions, intentions and use by patients and doctors in Queensland. QUT Law Review, 13(1), pp. 30-51.

Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, McCawley, Anne Louise, Willmott, Lindy, & White, Ben. (2011). Enduring documents: Improving the forms, improving the outcomes. University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, & Mathews, Ben. (2010). Law, autonomy and advance directives. Journal of Law and Medicine, 18, pp. 366-389.

Willmott, Lindy. (2010). Advance directives and the promotion of autonomy: A comparative Australian statutory analysis. Journal of Law and Medicine, 17, pp. 556-581.

Willmott, Lindy. (2009). Advance directives refusing treatment as an expression of autonomy: Do the courts practise what they preach? Common Law World Review, 38(4), pp. 295-341.

Willmott, Lindy & White, Ben. (2008). Solicitors and enduring documents: Current practice and best practice. Journal of Law and Medicine, 16(3), pp. 466-487.

Willmott, Lindy. (2007). Advance directives to withhold life-sustaining medical treatment: Eroding autonomy through statutory reform. Flinders Journal of Law Reform, 10(2), pp. 287-314.

Parker, Malcolm, Stewart, Cameron, Willmott, Lindy, & Cartwright, Colleen. (2007). Two steps forward, one step back: Advance care planning, Australian regulatory frameworks and the Australian Medical Association. Internal Medicine Journal, 39(9), pp. 637-643.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, & Howard, Michelle. (2006). Overriding advance refusals of life-sustaining medical treatment. Medicine and Law, 25, pp. 647-661.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, & Howard, Michelle. (2006). Refusing advance refusals: Advance directives and life-sustaining medical treatment. Melbourne University Law Review, 30(1), pp. 211-243.

White, Ben & Willmott, Lindy. (2004). Will you do as I ask? Compliance with instructions about health care in Queensland. Queensland University of Technology Law and Justice Journal, 4(1), pp. 77-87.

Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Cartwright, Colleen, Parker, Malcolm, Williams, Gail (2016) The knowledge and practice of doctors in relation to the law that governs withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment form adults who lack capacityJournal of Law and Medicine, 24, pp.356-370.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Cartwright, Colleen, Parker, Malcolm, Williams, Gail (2016) Is there a role for law in medical practice when withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment? Empirical findings on attitudes of doctors. Journal of Law and Medicine, 24, pp.342-355.

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, Williams, Gail, Cartwright, Colleen, & Parker, Malcolm (2016) The role of law in decisions to withhold and withdraw life-sustaining treatment from adults who lack capacity: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Medical Ethics, 43(5), pp. 327-333.

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, Cartwright, Colleen, Parker, Malcolm, & Williams, Gail (2016) Intensive care specialists’ knowledge, attitudes and practice relating to the law about withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment: A cross-sectional study. Critical Care and Resuscitation, 18(2), pp. 109-115.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Cartwright, Colleen, Parker, Malcolm, Williams, Gail M., & Neller, Penny. Doctors’ perspectives on law and life-sustaining treatment: Survey design and recruitment strategies for a challenging cohort. Progress in Palliative Care: Science and the Art of Caring, 24(4), pp.213-220.

Cartwright, Colleen, White, Ben P., Willmott, Lindy, Williams, Gail, & Parker, Malcolm Holbrook (2016) Palliative care and other physicians’ knowledge, attitudes and practice relating to the law on withholding/withdrawing life-sustaining treatment: Survey results. Palliative Medicine, 30(2), pp. 171-179.

Parker, Malcolm, Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Williams, Gail, & Cartwright, Colleen. (2015). Medical education and law: Withholding/withdrawing treatment from adults without capacity. Internal Medicine Journal, 45(6), pp. 634-640.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, & Then, Shih-Ning. (2014). Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment. In Ben White, Fiona McDonald, & Lindy Willmott (Eds.), Health Law in Australia (2nd ed.) (pp. 543-592). Pyrmont, NSW: Thomson Reuters.

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, Cartwright, Colleen, Parker, Malcolm H., & Williams, Gail. (2014). Doctors' knowledge of the law on withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment. Medical Journal of Australia, 201(4), pp. 229-232.

McGee A. (2014). Does withdrawing life-sustaining treatment cause death or allow the patient to die?, Medical Law Review 22(1), pp. 26-47.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Smith, Malcolm K., & Wilkinson, Dominic. (2014). Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in a patient's best interests: Australian judicial deliberations. Medical Journal of Australia, 201(9), pp. 545-547.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, & Smith, Malcolm K. (2014). “Best interests” and withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment from an adult who lacks capacity in the parens patriae jurisdiction. Journal of Law and Medicine, 21(4), pp. 920-941.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Parker, Malcolm, & Cartwright, Colleen. (2011). The legal role of medical professionals in decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment: Part 3 (Victoria). Journal of Law and Medicine, 18(4), pp. 773-797.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Parker, Malcolm, & Cartwright, Colleen. (2011). The legal role of medical professionals in decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment: Part 2 (Queensland). Journal of Law and Medicine, 18(3), pp. 523-544.

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, Trowse, Pip, Parker, Malcolm, & Cartwright, Colleen. (2011). The legal role of medical professionals in decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment: Part 1 (New South Wales). Journal of Law and Medicine, 18(3), pp. 498-522.

McGee, Andrew. (2011). Defending the sanctity of life principle: A reply to John Keown. Journal of Law and Medicine, 18(4), pp. 820-834.

McGee, Andrew. (2011). Me and my body: The relevance of the difference for the distinction between withdrawing life support and euthanasia. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 39(4), pp. 671-677.

McGee, Andrew. (2011). Ending the life of the act/omission dispute: Causation in withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining measures. Legal Studies: Journal of the Society of Legal Scholars, 31(3) pp. 467-491.

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, & Allen, John. (2010). Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment: Criminal responsibility for established medical practice? Journal of Law and Medicine, 17(5), pp. 849-865.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, & Cooper, Donna M. (2006). The Schiavo decision: Emotional, but legally controversial? Bond Law Review, 18(1), pp. 132-159.

Willmott, Lindy & White, Ben. (2006). A model for decision-making at the end-of-life: Queensland and beyond. Medicine and Law, 25(1), pp. 201-217.

Willmott, Lindy & White, Ben. (2005). Charting a course through difficult legislative waters: Tribunal decisions on life-sustaining measures. Journal of Law and Medicine, 12(4), pp. 441-454.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, & Cooper, Donna M. (2005). Interveners or interferers: Intervention in decisions to withhold and withdraw life-sustaining medical treatment. The Sydney Law Review, 27(4), pp. 597-621.

White, Ben, Garwood-Gowers, Andrew, & Willmott, Lindy. (2005). Manslaughter under the Griffith Code: Rowing not so gently down two streams of law. Criminal Law Journal, 29(4), pp. 217-227.

McGee, Andrew. (2005). Finding a way through the ethical and legal maze: Withdrawing medical treatment and euthanasia. Medical Law Review, 13(3), pp. 357-385.

White, Ben & Willmott, Lindy. (2005). Rethinking life-sustaining measures: Questions for Queensland. QUT, Brisbane, Qld.

Futile or non-beneficial treatment

Willmott, Lindy, White, Benjamin P., Gallois, Cindy, Parker, Malcolm, Graves, Nicholas, Winch, Sarah, et al. (2016) Reasons doctors provide futile treatment at the end of life: A qualitative study. Journal of Medical Ethics42, pp. 496-503.

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, Close, Eliana, Shepherd, Nicole, Gallois, Cindy, Parker, Malcolm, Winch, Sarah, Graves, Nicholas, & Callaway, Leonie. (2016). What does “futility” mean? An empirical study of doctors’ perceptions. Medical Journal of Australia, 204(8), pp. 318.e1-318.e5.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Close, Eliana, Gallois, Cindy, Parker, Malcolm, Graves, Nicholas, Winch, Sarah, Callaway, Leonie, & Shepherd, Nicole. (2016). Futility and the law: Knowledge, practice and attitudes of doctors in end of life care. QUT Law Review, 16(1), pp. 54-75.

Gallois, Cindy, Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Winch, Sarah, Parker, Malcolm, Graves, Nicholas, Shepherd, Nicole, & Close, Eliana. (2015). Futile treatment in hospital: Doctors’ intergroup language. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 34(6), pp. 657-671.

Downie, Jocelyn, Willmott, Lindy, & White, Ben. (2014). Cutting the Gordian knot of futility: a case for law reform on unilateral withholding and withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatment. New Zealand Universities Law Review, 26(1), pp. 24-59.

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, & Downie, Jocelyn. (2013). Withholding and withdrawal of ‘futile’ life-sustaining treatment: Unilateral medical decision-making in Australia and New Zealand. Journal of Law and Medicine, 20(4), pp. 907-924.

Lawrence, Sean, Willmott, Lindy, Miligan, Eleanor, Winch, Sarah, White, Ben, & Parker, Malcolm. (2012). Autonomy versus futility? Barriers to good clinical practice in end-of-life care: A Queensland case. Medical Journal of Australia, 196(6), pp. 404-405.

Palliative medication

William, Lukin, Sandra, Neate, & White, Ben. (2014). End of Life Decision Making and Palliative Care. In Peter Cameron, George Jelinek, Anne-Maree Kelly, Anthony Brown, & Mark Little (Eds.) Textbook of Adult Emergency Medicine (4th ed.) (pp. 727-731). Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone.

Cartwright, Colleen Maria, White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, Williams, Gail, & Parker, Malcolm Holbrook. (2016). Palliative care and other physicians’ knowledge, attitudes and practice relating to the law on withholding/withdrawing life-sustaining treatment: Survey results. Palliative Medicine, 30(2), pp. 171-179.

White, Ben & Willmott, Lindy. (2014). Double effect and palliative care excuses. In Ben White, Fiona McDonald, & Lindy Willmott (Eds.) Health Law in Australia (2nd Ed.) (pp. 593-608). Pyrmont, NSW: Thomson Reuters.

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, & Savulescu, Julian. (2014). Voluntary palliated starvation: A lawful and ethical way to die? Journal of Law and Medicine, 22, pp. 376-386.

McGee, Andrew. (2013). Intention, foresight and ending life: A response to "The Double Effect effect" by Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring, Karen Melham and Tony Hope, (CQ 20(1)). Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 22(1), pp. 77-85.

McGee, Andrew. (2011). When does pain and distress relief hastening death become killing? Transplant Journal of Australasia, 20(3), pp. 6-9.

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, & Ashby, Michael. (2011). Palliative care, double effect and the law in Australia. Internal Medicine Journal, 41(6), pp. 485-492.

White, Ben & Willmott, Lindy. (2004). The edge of palliative care: Certainty, but at what price? Flinders Journal of Law Reform, 7(1), pp. 225-242.

Organ donation

Richards, Bernadette, ‘Organ and Tissue Donation’ in Ben White, Fiona McDonald and Lindy Willmott (eds), Health Law in Australia (2nd ed, Law Book Co), p743-770.

McGee, Andrew & Gardiner, Dale. (2017). Permanence can be defended Bioethics, 31(3), pp. 220-230.

McGee, Andrew & Gardiner, Dale. (2016, In press). Donation after the circulatory determination of death: Some responses to recent criticisms Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.

Gardiner, Dale & McGee, Andrew. (2016, In press). Death, permanence and current practice in donation after circulatory death QJM: An International Journal of Medicine.

Smith, Malcolm. (2014). Posthumous conception in South Australia : the case continues in Re H, AE (No 3) [2013] SASC 196. Queensland Lawyer, 34(1), pp. 15-18.

McGee, Andrew & White, Ben. (2013). Is providing elective ventilation in the best interests of potential donors? Journal of Medical Ethics39(3), pp. 135-138.

Then, Shih-Ning & Appleby, Gabrielle. (2010). Tissue transplantation from children: Difficulties in navigating state and federal systems. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 33(2), pp. 305-336.

Substitute decision-making and guardianship

McGee, Andrew. (2014). Best interests determinations and substituted judgement: Personhood and precedent autonomy. In Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring, & Israel Doron (Eds.), The Law and Ethics of Dementia (pp. 135-147). Oxford: Hart Publishing.

White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, & Then, Shih-Ning. (2014). Adults who lack capacity: Substitute decision-making. In Ben White, Fiona McDonald, & Lindy Willmott (Eds.), Health Law in Australia (2nd ed.) (pp. 193-253). Pyrmont, NSW: Thomson Reuters.

Then, Shih-Ning, Patrick, Hilary, & Smith, Nicola. (2014). Reinforcing guardianship regimes through assisted decision-making: A Scottish perspective. The Juridical Review, 4, pp. 263-279.

Smith, Malcolm K. (2014) Health and guardianship law : guardianship and administration application in the matter of MDC [2014] QCAT 338. Queensland Lawyer, 34(3), pp. 122-124.

Then, Shih-Ning. (2013). Evolution and innovation in guardianship laws: Assisted decision-making. Sydney Law Review, 35, pp. 133-166.

White, Ben & Willmott, Lindy. (2008). Conflict transactions in the guardianship system. Queensland Lawyer, 28(6), pp. 286-288.

Willmott, Lindy & White, Ben. (2006). A model for decision-making at the end-of-life: Queensland and beyond. Medicine and Law, 25(1), pp. 201-217.

Capacity

Purser, Kelly & Rosenfeld, Tuly. (2015). Assessing testamentary and decision-making capacity: Approaches and models. Journal of Law and Medicine, 23(1), pp. 121-136.

Purser, Kelly, Magner, Eilis, & Madison, Jeanne. (2015). A therapeutic approach to assessing legal capacity in Australia. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 38, pp.18-28.

Purser, Kelly & Rosenfeld, Tuly. (2014). Evaluation of legal capacity by doctors and lawyers: The need for collaborative assessment. Medical Journal of Australia, 201(8), pp. 483-485.

Purser, Kelly. (2014). Testamentary and decision-making capacity assessment in Australia. Journal of International Aging, Law and Policy, 7(Fall), pp. 73-109.

Purser, Kelly, Magner, Eilis, & Madison, Jeanne. (2010). The extension of therapeutic jurisprudence to testamentary competency and substitute decision-making in the Australian context. Journal of Applied Law and Policy, 2010, pp. 1-13.

Purser, Kelly, Magner, Eilis, & Madison, Jeanne. (2009). Competency and capacity: The legal and medical interface. Journal of Law and Medicine, 16(5), pp. 789-802.

Euthanasia and assisted dying

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Stackpoole, Chris, Purser, Kelly, and McGee, Andrew. (2016). (Failed) Voluntary Euthanasia Law Reform in Australia: Two Decades of Trends, Models and Politics. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 39(1), pp. 1-46.

Bhatia, Neera, White, Ben, & Daliens, Luc. (2016). How should Australia respond to media-publicised developments on euthanasia in Belgium. Journal of Law and Medicine, 23(4), pp. 835-848.

Douglas, Bob, Willmott, Lindy, & White, Ben. (2013). The right to choose an assisted death: Time for legislation? Australia21, Weston, ACT.

White, Ben & Willmott, Lindy. (2012). How should Australia regulate voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide? Journal of Law and Medicine, 20, pp. 410-438.

Downie, Jocelyn & White, Ben. (2012). Prosecutorial discretion in assisted dying in Canada: A proposal for charging guidelines. McGill Journal of Law and Health, 6(2), pp.113-172.

White, Ben & Downie, Jocelyn. (2012). Prosecutorial guidelines for voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide: Autonomy, public confidence and high quality decision-making. Melbourne University Law Review, 36, pp. 656-705.

Willmott, Lindy & White, Ben. (2003). Private thoughts of public representatives: Assisted death, voluntary euthanasia and politicians. Journal of Law and Medicine, 11(1), pp. 77-92.

Enduring powers of attorney and wills

Purser, Kelly & Rosenfeld, Tuly. Too ill to will? Deathbed wills: Assessing testamentary capacity near the end of life. Age and Ageing, 45(3), pp.334-336.

Wilson, Jill, Rosenman, Linda, White, Ben, Tilse, Cheryl, & Feeney, Rachel. (2016). Cultural considerations in will-making in Australia: A case study of Islamic or Sharia-compliant wills. Alternative Law Journal, 41(1), pp. 23-26.

Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, White, Ben, Rosenman, Linda, Feeney, Rachel, & Strub, Tanya. (2016). Making and changing wills: Prevalence, predictors, and triggers. Sage Open.

Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, White, Ben, Rosenman, Linda, & Feeney, Rachel. (2015). Having the last word? Will making and contestation in Australia. Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

White, Ben, Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, Rosenman, Linda, Purser, Kelly, & Coe, Sandra. (2015). Estate contestation in Australia: An empirical study of a year of case law. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 38(3), pp. 880-910.

Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, White, Ben, Rosenman, Linda, & Feeney, Rachel. (2015). Will-making prevalence and patterns in Australia: Keeping it in the family. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 50(3), pp. 319-338.

Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, White, Ben, Rosenman, Linda, & Feeney, Rachel. (2014). Online survey of will drafters - Families and generational asset transfers: Making and challenging wills in contemporary Australia.

Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, White, Ben, Rosenman, Linda, Feeney, Rachel, & Strub, Tanya. (2014). Review of Public Trustee Files - Families and generational asset transfers: Making and challenging wills in contemporary Australia.

Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, White, Ben, Willmott, Lindy, & McCawley, Anne Louise. (2014). Enduring powers of attorney: Promoting attorneys' accountability as substitute decision makers. Australasian Journal On Ageing, 33(3), pp. 193-197.

Health Law generally

White, Ben, McDonald, Fiona, & Willmott, Lindy (Eds.). (2018). Health Law in Australia (3rd ed.). Pyrmont, NSW: Thomson Reuters.

White, Benjamin P.Willmott, Lindy, Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, Lawson, Deborah, Pearce, Angela, Dunn, Jeffrey, Aitken, Joanne, Feeney, Rachel, &Jowett, Stephanie (2017) Community knowledge of law at the end of life: Availability and accessibility of web-based resources. Australian Health Review.

Presentations