End of life decision-making raises challenging legal, ethical and regulatory issues. Such decisions are a mainstream part of medical practice, with medical decisions now preceding approximately 65% of all deaths in Australia.
These decisions include withholding or withdrawing life-saving treatment, the provision of palliative medication for relieving pain and symptoms, and voluntary assisted dying. Associated with such decisions are other ethico-legal questions including those relating to organ and tissue donation, the definition of death, and how the bodies of the dead are to be appropriately dealt with.
These important decisions require an effective and just regulatory framework.
The End of Life Research Program is a formal program of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research.