Professor Ben White secures ARC Future Fellowship

Professor Ben White, from QUT’s Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR), is one of four QUT researchers named as Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellows.

Professor Ben White

ARC Future Fellow Professor Ben White

Ben will receive $932,498 to investigate enhancing end-of-life care through a new and holistic regulatory framework. Current regulations are complex and fragmented and can cause distress to patients, families and health professionals.

The project’s aim is to help provide better palliative care, more patient involvement in decisions, reduced patient-doctor conflict and a more efficient health system.

From extensive research, Professor White and ACHLR colleague Professor Lindy Willmott developed and launched the End of Life Law for Clinicians training program. This is a free program to help medical professionals better understand this changing area of law and deal with situations when they encounter them.

We congratulate Ben and wish him continued success as an ARC Future Fellow.

About Ben White

Ben was a foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research for six years (2013-2018). He has published extensively in the area of health law, with a particular focus on end of life decision-making.

Ben’s research has had significant impact leading to changes in law, policy and practice. His work has been adopted by parliaments, courts and tribunals, and law reform commissions and has also influenced State and national end-of-life policy and prompted changes to clinical education in universities, hospitals and health departments.

You can learn more about Ben and his research and publications in his staff profile.

No room for pollies’ personal views in euthanasia debate

Whatever the opinion of the public, academics or medical professionals, QUT researchers say it will be politicians who decide on whether laws on euthanasia, or voluntary assisted dying, are changed.

  • Politicians’ personal views on euthanasia should not drive the debate
  • Issues of public concern, such as the impact on vulnerable people, should instead be at the forefront  Parliament’s role is to protect the vulnerable if laws are changed
  • Legislation applies to all; not just people with one view or another
  • Individuals are free to reject euthanasia as an option for themselves based on their own personal beliefs, so the fairest option is to make euthanasia lawful
  • Conscience votes on euthanasia not optimal, but may remain the only way to decide the issue

Researchers from QUT’s Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR) have published an article – Informing the Euthanasia Debate: Perceptions of Australian Politicians – in the University of New South Wales Law Journal on how politicians approach euthanasia and assisted suicide when they are voting on whether to pass a bill legalising such practices.

Led by Dr Andrew McGee, their paper follows the recent passing of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 in Victoria, and covers a rarely examined perspective of the debate.

Learn more about ACHLR on their website or follow their twitter account @HealthLawQUT. 

You can read the full article and reach our media contacts on the QUT news page.