Australian Centre for Health Law Research

The Australian Centre for Health Law Research’s new website is now live. The website showcases ACHLR’s research strength across four research streams led by co-directors Associate Professor Fiona McDonald  and Associate Professor Tina Cockburn:

End of Life, which explores the legal, ethical and policy issues of death and dying. This stream is led by Professor Ben White and Professor Lindy Willmott , former co-directors of ACHLR. The End of Life stream maintains the comprehensive End of Life Law in Australia website.

Health, Society and Regulation, led by Dr Shih-Ning Then. This stream investigates the social, regulatory, and ethical challenges associated with the regulation of health care.

Ageing and Aged Care, which examines the pressing legal, health, social and policy issues that arise from population ageing, led by Dr Kelly Purser  and Associate Professor Tina Cockburn.

Technology, Innovation and Health, led by Professor Belinda Bennett . This stream investigates the social, legal and regulatory implications of technology and innovation in health care. ACHLR researchers are active in the Queensland Genomics Health Alliance’s Ethics, Legal and Social Implications Workstream , collaborating with colleagues at UQ, Queensland Health, and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

ACHLR members continue to engage in current topics of law reform, including a response to the COAG Health Council Regulation of Australia’s Health Professions Consultation Paper  regarding mandatory reporting to National Boards of professional negligence settlements and judgements and charges or convictions of scheduled medicines offences. Members also made a response to the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights and Technology Issues Paper.

See what our ACHLR researchers have published in e-prints.

Law Council Report cites submission from Australian Centre for Health Law Research members

The Law Council of Australia’s Justice Project: Final Report has been released. The Justice Project aimed to tackle impediments to access to justice for those experiencing significant economic and other disadvantage.

The report cites the submission made by Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR) and QUT academics Kelly Purser, Bridget Lewis, Tina Cockburn and Fiona McDonald. Citing Purser et al’s submission, the Report identifies older persons, especially older women, as a ‘hidden’ group experiencing significant disadvantage, where knowledge gaps require targeted research.

The Report also makes reference to Purser et al’s recommendation to develop national capacity guidelines to establish a nationally consistent, best-practice approach to assessing legal capacity.

Read the final report.

Read the submission from ACHLR.

Dr Kelly Purser

Associate Professor Fiona McDonald

Dr Bridget Lewis

Associate Professor Tina Cockburn

 

Genetic Discrimination in Australia: A Timely Reappraisal

Professor Margaret Otlowski joined the Queensland Genomics Health Alliance and the Australian Centre for Health Law Research to deliver a public lecture on the risk of genetic discrimination in life insurance policies.

(L-R) Professor Belinda Bennett, QUT, Mr David Bunker, QGHA, Professor Margaret Otlowski, University of Tasmania

Professor Otlowski is a Professor of Law and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics at the University of Tasmania. She was the Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Tasmania from 2010 to 2017 and was appointed as the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Culture and Wellbeing) in August 2017.

Professor Belinda Bennett, Professor of Health Law and New Technologies at the QUT Faculty of Law, welcomed guests to the lecture alongside Mr David Bunker, Executive Director of the Queensland Genomics Health Alliance (QGHA). David spoke briefly about QGHA’s mission, objectives and the research programs it supports.

The lecture, ‘Genetic Discrimination in Australia: A Timely Reappraisal’ is part of a program of work funded by QGHA in which leading researchers at QUTQIMR Berghofer Medical Research InstituteUniversity of Queensland, and other institutions are working on the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genomics.

Professor Margaret Otlowski presenting ‘Genetic Discrimination in Australia: A Timely Reappraisal’

In her lecture Professor Otlowski reviewed the recent Commonwealth Inquiry into the life insurance industry which recommended the introduction of a moratorium on the use of genetic information for underwriting in life insurance. She discussed evidence that the fear of genetic discrimination is inhibiting the uptake of genetic testing in clinical and research settings. Professor Otlowski argued in favour of implementing the inquiry’s recommendations in order to help reassure patients, their families, clinicians and researchers that genetic testing will not have a negative impact on future applications for life insurance.

‘Professor Otlowski’s lecture highlights the importance of considering the ethical and legal dimensions of genomic medicine,’ said Professor Bennett, QUT Faculty of Law.

For further information about the QGHA, visit their website.