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Advance Care Directives

Speciality Classification
General Practice ( GP ) / Family Medicine
46 minutes

Course Overview

All competent adults have a right to decide what medical treatment they would refuse if they lose the capacity to make decisions in the future. This Course looks at the increasing trend to have future refusals of treatment recorded in legally binding documents known as advance care directives (ACDs).


  • Refusal of treatment;
  • What are advance care directives?;
  • Considerations when creating an advance care directive;
  • The purpose of an advance care directive.



Every adult of sound mind has the right to refuse treatment regardless of the fact that such refusal might lead to their death. This right is embedded in common law and legislation.

All health practitioners should understand what constitutes a valid refusal of treatment through these written instructions to meet their common law and professional obligations when providing care for their clients.


The purpose of this Course is to enable learners to gain a better understanding of the legal framework that supports a competent adult to make decisions about advanced care directives and refusal of treatment.


Learning Outcomes

  • Understand that a valid advance care directive is binding on healthcare professionals when considering treatment plans.
  • Healthcare professionals will have improved confidence when faced with common dilemmas associated with refusal of treatment.

Target Audience

This Course is relevant to all registered nurses and other health professionals working in all contexts of healthcare.


No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.


Educator Linda Starr

Dr Linda Starr has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in general, mental health nursing, law, education and a PhD in legal issues in elder abuse. Linda has extensive experience as an RN in metropolitan and rural locations, in general nursing, mental health, forensic health, aged care and management. She has held senior positions in academia, including the dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Linda has publications in health law and forensic health issues. Linda is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University and a consultant educator in health law and ethics for nurses, midwives and carers. She is chair of the SA Board of Nursing and Midwifery, fellow of the College of Nursing Australia, foundation president of the Australian Forensic Nurses Association, member on the School of Health Academic Advisory Board for Open Colleges and the international member on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Forensic Nursing. See Educator Profile

Advance Care Directives
Provider Type
Education Provider
46 minutes
Start Date
End Date
CPD Points
46 minutes of cpd
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