Document Detail

Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment: criminal responsibility for established medical practice?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20552946     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The law recognises the right of a competent adult to refuse medical treatment even if this will lead to death. Guardianship and other legislation also facilitates the making of decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment in certain circumstances. Despite this apparent endorsement that such decisions can be lawful, doubts have been raised in Queensland about whether decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment would contravene the criminal law, and particularly the duty imposed by the Criminal Code (Qld) to provide the "necessaries of life". This article considers this tension in the law and examines various arguments that might allow for such decisions to be made lawfully. It ultimately concludes, however, that criminal responsibility may still arise and so reform is needed.
Ben White; Lindy Willmott; John Allen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Legal Cases    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of law and medicine     Volume:  17     ISSN:  1320-159X     ISO Abbreviation:  J Law Med     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-06-17     Completed Date:  2010-07-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9431853     Medline TA:  J Law Med     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  849-65     Citation Subset:  IM    
Health Law Research Program, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Criminal Law*
Mental Competency / legislation & jurisprudence
Physicians / legislation & jurisprudence
Withholding Treatment / legislation & jurisprudence*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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