Seminar explores law and the end of life

Holding hands 

A seminar at the University of Western Sydney will explore the personal, medical and ethical decisions facing people at the end of their lives.

Organised by the Schools of Law and Medicine, the free public seminar brings together leading thinkers from the fields of law, medicine, human rights and politics to examine the complex issues facing people and their families at the final stages of their lives.

Law and the End of Life will be held at the UWS Campbelltown campus at 5.30pm on Thursday, April 23, in Building 22, Level 2, Room 4.

Dr Catherine Renshaw, who is convening the seminar, says that public attitudes towards end of life decision-making are changing.

"There is a growing demand for greater information and control over what happens at the end of our lives," says Dr Renshaw.

"There is recognition that reserving dignity and autonomy at the end of life matters to everyone, not just to patients and their families or to members of the medical profession."

"As resources become scarcer and our population increases and ages, we will become more concerned than ever to ensure that processes such as advance care directives are working as they are intended."

To explore some of the issues around end of life decision-making, the seminar will hear from four experts in their field:

  • Dr Kristen Turner is a Palliative Medicine specialist with South Western Sydney Local Health District, with 3 decades experience in practicing end of-life medicine
  • The Hon. Mr Trevor Khan has been a member of the NSW Legislative Council since March 2007. He is also a lawyer. His personal and political reflections on law and the end-of-life have recently stimulated significant public debate around end-of-life issues
  • Professor Steven Freeland is Professor of International Law at the University of Western Sydney and formerly a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court
  • Professor Cameron Stewart is Pro Dean at Sydney Law School at the University of Sydney and recognised as one of the leading legal scholars in the area of medicine, law and ethics. 


16 April 2015

Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer

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