Influencing law reform and informing judicial decision-making
In 2010 the Queensland Law Reform Commission’s Review of Queensland’s guardianship laws drew extensively on White and Willmott’s research in formulating reform recommendations to address problems and inconsistencies in end-of-life law in Queensland. Their research has also influenced law reform in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and at federal level.
White and Willmott’s research has changed the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s approach to making end-of-life decisions and it has also been cited by the High, Family and State Supreme Courts and the State Coroner.
Informing health policy and medical practice
The research has informed the development of strategic policy documents including consensus statements on safe, high-quality end-of-life care and national practice frameworks regarding advance directives. It has also informed development of position statements of medical defence insurers, clinical guidelines of peak medical professional bodies and end-of-life policy and strategy documents in a number of Australian States.
Improving clinical education
The research has been used by Australian hospitals, medical professional bodies and health government departments, including the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the Australian Medical Association Victoria. It has also been used in online advance care planning resources for doctors and to develop policy and education initiatives which address doctors’ knowledge of and compliance with the end-of-life law.
The website End of Life Law in Australia was developed by White, Willmott and their colleague Neller to address gaps in legal knowledge identified by this research and is widely used by the medical profession and medical educators.
Australian Research Council Linkage Projects
- Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment from adults who lack capacity: the role of law in medical practice
- Futile treatment at the end of life: legal, policy, sociological and economic perspectives
- Enhancing community knowledge and engagement with law at the end of life
Other externally funded research projects
- Centre of Research Excellence End of Life Care (National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant)
- Dying in Pain (National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant )
- Enduring documents – improving the forms, improving the outcomes (Legal Practitioners Interest Trust Fund Account Grant)
- Improving Service Provision by Legal Practitioners to Clients in relation to Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Directive (Legal Practitioners Interest Trust Fund Account Grant)