What does the Act require of registered medical practitioners?
The decision a person or their agent makes about medical treatment is affected by the amount of information provided by the treating doctor. The information provided to the person or the agent should be complete and easily understood. The medical practitioner should be satisfied that the person understands risks involved with the proposed procedure or treatment and any alternatives.
At least one witness on the refusal of medical treatment certificate must be a registered medical practitioner and may also be the treating doctor. Once, however, the treating doctor is aware that a certificate exists, it is an offence for that doctor to continue or undertake any medical treatment covered by the certificate.
The Act protects all registered medical practitioners or people acting under their direction who refuse to perform or continue a procedure or a medical treatment in accordance with a refusal of medical treatment certificate. A medical practitioner is not guilty of misconduct, any offence or liability in any civil proceeding for failing to perform or continue the relevant treatment.
The Board of a hospital or the proprietor of a private hospital or nursing home must take reasonable steps to ensure a copy of a refusal of treatment certificate or a notice of its cancellation is attached to the medical record of the person in the hospital or home and sent to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) within 7 days of its completion.