Margaret's story appears throughout this resource. It illustrates a series of treatment and care decisions as Margaret approaches end of life, and some related legal issues including interpreting an advance care directive, making decisions under the Guardianship Act, and seeking legal advice

Welcome to
End of Life Decisions, the Law and Clinical Practice

Some disease processes have ongoing, predictable courses that may include diminishing mobility, independence, personal dignity and cognitive capacity, and/or increasing pain and discomfort. Patients may leave instructions or choose to cease interventions that prolong the course past a stipulated point of deterioration. Some cases are more difficult to predict and may not involve a patient having made prior decisions about what treatment they may or may not want.

Planning for end of life and making treatment decisions at the end of someone’s life can be difficult and involves a number of clinical, legal and ethical considerations.

This website provides information for health professionals as to who legally in NSW can make end of life decisions and advice on how they should be made.

This information has been developed by the NSW Ministry of Health in consultation with clinical experts, consumers, the NSW Public Guardian, the Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Centre for Health Governance, Law and Ethics at the University of Sydney and the Health Law Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology.