1h 5m
Linda Starr
28 Jan 2018

Advance Care Directives

All competent adults have a right to decide what medical treatment they would refuse if they lose 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).


State the purpose of an Advance Care Directive


Identify the legal requirements of a valid Advance Care Directive


Describe common dilemmas associated with refusal of treatment instructions


Linda Starr

Dr Linda Starr is a general and mental health qualified nurse, lawyer, and associate professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Flinders University. Her research interests have been in health law for health practitioners, criminal law, forensic health care, and elder abuse investigation and prosecution, which was the subject of her PhD. Linda is currently the chair of the state board of the Nursing and Midwifery Board, Australia, the director on the Board of Directors at the Aged Rights Advocacy Service, and is the founding president of the Australian Forensic Nurses Association. She has an extensive speaking record, nationally and internationally, on issues in health law, forensic nursing, and elder abuse.


Esther Zoe Nunn02 Sep 2018
It's such important work, advocating for patients. Thank you for a very interesting course

Candace Pederson10 Jun 2018
Very informative, presented well.

Baek Eunyoung31 May 2018
Greatly explained.

karen nolan30 May 2018
very informative education lecture on a subject that i have not had much to do with in the past but may so in the future

Lynne Berridge27 May 2018

Deborah French27 May 2018
Information very well presented

Debra Ambrosini26 May 2018
This course was very informative

Suzanna Potter19 May 2018
A great resource. Very informative

Leigh Labinsky18 May 2018
A timely topic to study.

Mi Park18 May 2018
very useful. Thank you.

Marjorie Greensmith15 May 2018
I found this course very informative and it is very relevant to the area I work in, as advanced care directives are offered to most patients thet come into the area I work in

Rita Burma15 May 2018
Very intersting and knowledgeable

Pratiksha Regmi11 May 2018

Kamariah Jumani10 May 2018
Great learning tool and information clearly presented.

Sharon Khan09 May 2018
The educator was engaging

Reena Raju07 May 2018
Good session

Amy Michelle Van Ree07 May 2018
This was very good. I enjoyed the speaker, she was very clear and well understood.

Dorothy-anne burrows07 May 2018
Very informative

very informative and useful resource

Divina Evangelista03 May 2018
The educator was knowledgeable. I would recommend this education to other health professionals.

Rupinder Kaur Brar29 Apr 2018
Very interesting and informative

Lisa Lising Reyes28 Apr 2018
This course is relevant to my practice.

Karen Innes27 Apr 2018
Very informative and loved the examples given as they were thought provoking

Anne Skerman25 Apr 2018
I would recommend this educaton to others.

Bimaldeep Sidhu24 Apr 2018
very informative.

Rijo George24 Apr 2018
Very informative.

Queen Elthan Tatad21 Apr 2018

Linda Walden18 Apr 2018
I found this video informative...

Kayla Smith16 Apr 2018
very informative

Linda Wallwork11 Apr 2018
Great education session . Very informative

Udo Hoffmann08 Apr 2018
Very informative

Christine Hulands04 Apr 2018
Presentation was interesting and informative.

Cherie Martin30 Mar 2018
A very difficult subject to understand due to the many varied differences from state to state/ territories. But this bought clarity to the ACD in Australia.

Jeanie Kay Buchanan19 Mar 2018
This learning was helpful reminder and new learning for what the recent laws are for Australia. It was well organized, and appreciated the examples.

Kim cook03 Mar 2018
This is a very new and relevant area that needs to be addressed before being put into care so we can better look after the whole person as well as religious and spiritual beliefs with end of life care with dignity and respect.

Melinda Sydenham27 Feb 2018
Informative and helpful. Thanks :)

Nadime Roumieh09 Feb 2018
Great resource

Citti Taranto08 Feb 2018
I would encourage everyone to plan for the future just for when accident happens, at least a plan is in place

Mary Helen Olsen08 Feb 2018
I would recommend this education to other health professionals

Jason Ballard04 Feb 2018
I thought the content was well paced and scaffolded. The case studies bought the content to life which makes them more real and therefore easier to make the connection between the content and reality. I would definitely recommend this to others.

mary susan delos reyes30 Jan 2018
well presented

Nadine Molcher26 Jan 2018
great and infornative

Jillian Dickson26 Jan 2018
Very informative

Haylee Quinn20 Jan 2018
What a great resource!

Angela Faulkner20 Jan 2018
This resource filled all the requirements that i have to learn more re Advanced care Directives. It was easy to listen to and to take notes. It is great that i can access my CPD points this way. Thank you.

Gillian Hoskins18 Jan 2018
I can recommend this to all health professionals Dr Starr is engaging and has good delivery. I would indeed like to spend more time with her Thank you Gillian

Ann Trebilcock17 Jan 2018
A very informative resource with relevant and up to date information which will enable me to approach the advanced care directive choices with confidence and the feeling that my resident's wishes are being met.

Monika Seyfarth29 Nov 2017
Thank you, this session has delivered useful information which will be used in the delivery of patient care

Evelyn Nangle28 Nov 2017
The educator was engaging, she explained the issues clearly. I would recommend this education to other health professionals, a very interesting presentation

Pamela Gordon16 Nov 2017
This was informative

Course Overview

Topics include:

  • What is an Advanced Care Directive?
  • Requirements for a valid Advanced Care Directive
  • Substitute decision making
  • Case law and Advanced Care Directives

Target audience

All health professionals working in all contexts of adult health care.


Gain a better understanding of the legal framework that supports a competent adult to make decisions about health care they would be prepared to accept or refuse at some time in the future, should they lose capacity to make these decisions at the time.


All adults have the right to make decisions about their own body. This includes the right to consent and to refuse treatment – even if refusal of treatment will cause their death. The right to refuse treatment in advance has also been upheld by the common law. There is a growing trend to have future refusals of treatment recorded in legally binding documents such as an ‘Advance Directive’ or ‘Living Will’. For this document to be valid an individual who has done so freely must create it and have the legal competence to do so. Should health practitioners ignore these instructions or provide treatment that is contrary to a person’s wishes they could leave themselves open to civil and perhaps even criminal prosecution. However, it is also important to understand the legal requirements of a valid document including the absence of ambiguity, completeness, witnessing by an appropriate witness and what key terms mean to enable the health practitioner to determine if the document has any defects that would make implementing the patient’s wishes difficult. Therefore, it is imperative that all health practitioners 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.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.