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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3716..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

to participate in the consent process or a number of health attorneys disagree about what action should be taken or if the treatment consented to continues beyond six months, then the health professional must advise the Public Advocate. If a health professional contacts the Public Advocate in these circumstances, the Public Advocate will be in a position to decide when and how to act in the interests of the protected person.

Family members and relatives may have concerns about their potential legal liability for giving consent. It is important to note that the bill affords them protection from liability so long as they act in good faith. Similar protection is given to a health professional who acts in good faith in accordance with consent from a health attorney or a person whom the health professional believes on reasonable grounds to be a health attorney. Nevertheless, the health professional would not be relieved of liability that would otherwise exist if the protected person did not have impaired decision-making ability and the medical treatment had been given with the person's consent.

I am confident that the family members, carers, relatives and friends of a protected person will welcome a scheme that enables them to act for their loved ones. They will now be in a position to actively engage in the medical treatment decision-making process. I am also confident that health professionals will welcome the scheme, because it will expand the options available to them in ensuring that patients receive timely and appropriate treatment. I thank members for their support of the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Adjournment

Motion by Mr Corbell proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Chief Minister—attendance at bushfire inquiry

Gungahlin Drive extension

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.34): I just wanted to touch on a couple of issues that were dealt with today. The first is the issue of the Chief Minister's non-attendance in relation to the debate on the bushfires and the performance of this government. We do find it quite extraordinary that the Chief Minister refused to attend the bushfire inquiry even though he was, of course, the responsible minister at relevant times in the inquiry. And it needs to put into context that this inquiry, which commenced when I was chair of the legal affairs committee, had a wide ambit which did go back to 2003 and prior.


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