When your adult patient cannot consent

Do you know what to do when faced with a patient who does not have the capacity to consent to (or refuse) medical treatment?
The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016, which came into effect in March, outlines the steps all registered health practitioners need to take when treating a patient, in Victoria, who does not have the capacity to consent to, or refuse, medical treatment. 
My office has developed a range of resources including an app, fact sheets, a flow chart and video presentation to help health practitioners understand this new legislation and their responsibilities.
I encourage you to review these resources and share this email with your colleagues, especially those working in rural or regional areas or in small hospitals or practices who cannot easily get to one of OPA's face-to-face presentations.
Colleen Pearce
Victoria Public Advocate

The App

  • Takes you through the steps you need to take if a patient is unable to consent to medical treatment.
  • Includes links to important definitions, additional information and online forms.
  • Helps you identify if you need to  request the Public Advocate to make a medical treatment decision.
Consent app

The Video 

This 45 minute presentation by OPA's Senior Medical Treatment Decision Maker provides an overview of the new legislation and the steps you now need to take if a patient is unable to consent to medical treatment. 
Consent video

The Flowchart

This two-sided poster is designed to be printed out on A3 paper.
It includes key information, as well as a handy flowchart.
consent flowchart


Fact sheets for Health practitioners



More resources


Visit the Health Victoria website for: