OPA and Reinforce launch new resource: The right of people to make their own medical decisions
Wednesday 30 October, 2019
Everyone has the right to play an active role in making decisions about their own health and to receive the support they need to do so.
Reinforce, is a self-advocacy organisation run for, and by, people with an intellectual disability, and the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA), an independent statutory body that safeguards the rights and interests of people with disability in Victoria, have produced two brochures to promote the role of supported decision making and importance of communication in medical decision making, funded by a grant from the Victoria Law Foundation.
The brochure aimed at health practitioners includes three stories from people with cognitive impairment about their experiences - both good and bad. A common theme was the need for health practitioners to avoid or explain jargon.
An easy read brochure helps consumers understand their rights and explain them to health practitioners.
The importance of being free to make one's own decisions was emphasised by Reinforce President Colin Hiscoe at the launch of the brochures in Melbourne on Wednesday 30 August 2019. The project was very much driven by Colin, with support from the Reinforce Board of Management.
Lynne Haultain, Executive Director, Victoria Law Foundation, spoke about how the project met two key criteria of the organisation's grant criteria: evidence of legal need and a good case that this response is likely to have an impact and make a difference to a significant audiences.
Colleen Pearce, Victoria's Public Advocate, spoke about OPA's long history working with Reinforce and how the project came about. When OPA staff attended a Reinforce meeting to discuss new medical treatment legislation, they heard stories of people's previous experiences with doctors and hospitals and their ideas for how it could be better.
Photos from the launch