Palliative care is treated differently from other forms of medical treatment. This is because palliative care is for the relief of the patient’s suffering. It would be unusual, if not unconscionable, to prevent a person obtaining relief from their pain.
Palliative care includes:
- the provision of reasonable medical treatment for the relief of pain, suffering and discomfort
- the reasonable provision of food and water.
Health practitioners do not require consent to administer palliative care to a patient who does not have decision-making capacity for that care regardless of any decision of their medical treatment decision maker or any statement in an advance care directive.
However, health practitioners must have regard to the patient’s expressed preferences and values and must consult with their medical treatment decision maker, if any.