Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Community knowledge of law at the end of life: availability and accessibility of web-based resources

Ben White , Lindy Willmott , Jill Wilson , Cheryl Tilse , Deborah Lawson , Angela Pearce , Jeff Dunn , Joanne Aitken , Rachel Feeney , Stephanie Jowett


Objective: To identify online resources community members might access to inform themselves about their legal duties and rights in end-of-life decision-making. Methods: Resource mapping identified online resources that members of the public in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland are likely to locate, and assessed the ease or difficulty in locating them. Resources were then critically analysed for accessibility of language and format using the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT). Results: Located resources differed considerably based on whether search terms identified by community members or experts were used. Most resources focused on advance directives, enduring powers of attorney and substitute decision-making. Relatively few provided information about legal duties (e.g., powers and responsibilities of substitute decision-makers) or resolving conflict with health practitioners. Accessibility (understandability and actionability) of resource content varied. Conclusions: While numerous resources on end-of-life law are available online, community members may not be able to locate relevant resources or find resource content accessible.

AH16234  Accepted 01 February 2017

© CSIRO 2017