Page 4206 - Week 13 - Thursday, 19 November 2015

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In this bill I am also proposing amendments to the Medical Treatment (Health Directions) Act to require all substitute decision-makers, where appropriate, to follow health directions when making decisions about medical treatment. This amendment recognises and protects the rights of people who do not wish to participate in particular types of medical treatment, including medical research.

The bill is the result of significant collaboration between the ACT government, the medical profession and advocacy groups. I am confident that the bill strikes an appropriate balance between removing barriers to participation in medical research and protecting a person’s right to not be involved in medical research.

It does this by: one, providing a mechanism for people to decide whether they wish to be involved in medical research before they become incapacitated; two, authorising enduring attorneys to make decisions about medical research if the power of attorney was made before these amendments; three, introducing safeguards to protect the rights of a person being considered as a participant in medical research; and four, providing avenues for the tribunal to assist the decision-maker and to review a decision about medical research.

As a package, these amendments will benefit the health and wellbeing of our population and make an important contribution to the valuable work already being done in the territory’s medical institutions. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Protection of Rights (Services) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (10.24): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce to the Assembly today the Protection of Rights (Services) Amendment Bill 2015. This bill contains amendments to rights protection legislation necessary to give effect to a new framework for rights protection in the ACT comprising a restructured Human Rights Commission and a Public Trustee and Guardian office. The changes proposed for the new Human Rights Commission and an expanded Office of the Public Trustee and Guardian will support a more cohesive vision, voice and mechanism for rights protection in the ACT. I will briefly cover the background for the work leading up to the design of this new model and the consultation process that has been undertaken, and then cover the main aspects of the bill.

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