Health care principles

1. Application of general principles

A person or other entity that performs a function or exercises a power under this Act, for a health matter or a special health matter in relation to an adult, must also apply the general principles.

2. Same human rights and fundamental freedoms

In applying general principle 2 to a health matter or special health matter:

  • the principle of non-discrimination requires that all adults be offered appropriate health care, including preventative care, without regard to a particular adult’s capacity; and
  • any consent to, or refusal of, health care for an adult must take into account the principles of respect for inherent dignity and worth, individual autonomy (including the freedom to make one’s own choices) and independence of persons.

3. Performance of functions and exercise of powers

In applying general principles 9 and 10 to a health matter or special health matter, a person or other entity, in performing a function or exercising a power under this Act in relation to an adult, must take into account:

  • information given by the adult’s health provider
  • if the adult has a medical condition
    • the nature of the adult’s medical condition
    • the adult’s prognosis
  • if particular health care is proposed, any alternative health care that is available
  • the nature and degree of any significant risks associated with the proposed health care or any alternative health care
  • whether the proposed health care can be postponed because a better health care option may become available
  • within a reasonable time or the adult is likely to become capable of making the adult’s own decision about the health care
  • the consequences for the adult if the proposed health care is not carried out
  • a consideration of the benefits versus the burdens of the proposed health care
  • the effect of the proposed health care on the adult’s dignity and autonomy.

4. Substituted judgement

For applying general principle 10(4) to a health matter or special health matter, the views and wishes of an adult expressed when the adult had capacity may also be expressed:

  • in an advance health directive; or
  • by a consent to, or refusal of, health care given at a time when the adult had capacity to make decisions about the health care.

Descriptions of QCAT's jurisdiction on this website are general information only. They do not definitively describe the types of applications on which QCAT can make decisions. The relevant legislation determines QCAT's jurisdiction. If you are unsure about your legal rights, you should seek legal advice. Your individual circumstances should guide any actions taken to resolve your dispute.