Medical decisions when an adult patient cannot consent
The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 allows people to complete an advance care directive, appoint a medical treatment decision maker and appoint a support person.
The Act also sets out the process for health practitioners when a patient does not have decision-making capacity to consent to medical treatment.
With the introduction of the Act:
- the section 42K process no longer applies — this is replaced by the section 63 process under the new Act
- the person responsible hierarchy no longer applies — this is replaced by the medical treatment decision maker hierarchy.
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For health practitioners
The patient must be an adult, and be able to understand, retain, use or weigh up information about the general nature and effect of the proposed medical treatment and communicate their decision to consent to the treatment.
Process if the patient does not have decision-making capacity for the medical treatment decision.