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Cover image for: Advance Care Directives
Badge from the American Nurses Credentialing Center showing that Ausmed is an accredited provider with distinction

The Ausmed Education Learning Centre is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider Number PO342.

CPD46m of CPD
Total Rating(s)274
First Published
Updated16 February 2020
Expires 16 February 2022
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

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.


Portrait of Linda Starr
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

Learner Reviews

274 Total Rating(s)
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Lisa Forde
06 Apr 2020

Well covered by presenter and informative

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Esi Paintsil
06 Apr 2020

Great resource!

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Sharon Fear
06 Apr 2020

This course was mainly aim at the RN but i gain knowledge regarding same and the legal concerns surrounding same.

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Isabella bradford
06 Apr 2020

very informative

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Sarah Hollier
04 Apr 2020

It is a great resource, very informative and relates to my area of practice

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Catherine Griffin
04 Apr 2020

I enjoyed the course, it was well presented and informative. I would recommend it to others, thank you.

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Robert McEwen
04 Apr 2020

Well presented and informative

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June Hisselli
04 Apr 2020

This was an excellent video on ACDs. It provided up to date information on ACDs and the legal implications. ACDs are developed by the individual who has capacity to determine future medical interventions. They can e reviewed at any time and updated by the individual as needed..

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Jennifer O'Connor
03 Apr 2020

undestanding about legally binding documents that empowers a person/patient to have a clear arrangement for future health care and end of life matters

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Tracey Nasveld
03 Apr 2020

THis module was well presented and provided concise information for the health practitioner . The health practitioner after completing this workshop could provide basic information to their patient/family regarding their legal rights in the instance of a advanced health care directive.