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  • 20 Medical and Mental Health
  • Medical Treatment
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Medical Treatment

This section looks at rights, consent, access to information, reproductive rights and access to medical information.

Rights and the Law

Patients' Rights Patients’ rights fall into two main areas: the right to accept or refuse treatment on the basis of knowing and understanding what is involved in the treatment and any alternatives which are available; and the right to care and competence on the part of the health profess...


With some exceptions, any intrusion on the body of another person is an assault (or trespass) unless that person has consented to the intrusion. If physical or emotional harm results from the assault, the victim may sue for damages, otherwise known as compensation. This is quite distinct from the...

Medical Negligence

Health professionals, like all other occupational groups, have a duty to take reasonable care for the safety and well-being of the people they deal with. A failure to take reasonable care can, if injury results, lead to a claim of negligence. Medical negligence falls under the Civil Liability Act...

Abortion/Termination of Pregnancy

Terminating a pregnancy through medical channels is not a crime, although there is still a stigma attached to terminating a pregnancy. Amendments to the Criminal Code have seen a pro-choice alignment in the legislature, which validates women’s rights, and the right to choose. Control of child bir...

Access to Information and Confidentiality

Access to Information Australian privacy laws give a general right of access to a person to access their own medical information. If a person's My Health record doesn't contain sufficient information for their need, they can request information from their health care provider. If there is a d...

Page last updated 27/02/2022

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