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Justice Miscellaneous (Advance Care Directives) Bill 2022

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 29 September 2022

Tags: Health, Legislation

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Mr Deputy Speaker, the Greens very much support this bill. For many years we have advocated to give people increasing dignity and respect and rights to make decisions about their own bodies and their own diseases and life processes. It is important, especially as we age. For some people it is not about being old, it is about being in a stage of disease process where it is important to understand that things might happen where we want to make decisions about how we are cared for and the sorts of treatments we receive.

Advocates have called for this for a very long time. It was very widely discussed around and as supporting the push for voluntary assisted dying. We are very pleased and thank the Attorney-General for ensuring that her department has put in the effort and time, as they obviously have, to finishing up this important legislation which amends the Guardianship and Administration Amendment (Advance Care Directives) Act, as well as the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act so that they can both function and provide people with the opportunity to formalise in a statutory process their own advance care directives.

Common law advance care directives can also be registered under this statutory scheme. It is great that people now have the opportunity to make something which is formalised and standardised, so that at the end of their life, or indeed at any time, where they want to be confident that were something to happen to them, they would be able to know that the treatment and interventions they received were the sorts of things that were appropriate to their own values, spiritual beliefs, sense of self-dignity and respect, and fundamentally, the wishes they have for how they are treated at all stages of their life.

We thank the Attorney-General again and especially the community advocates who have been working towards advance care directives and formalising and standardising them. They would be feeling very pleased at the hard work they have done over many years coming to this point today.