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3.2.12 Termination of life support

Last Modified: 02-Aug-2018 Review Date: 01-Oct-2016

Purpose

To inform child protection workers about the consent procedures required for the termination of life support for a child in the CEO's care.

Practice Requirements

  • The Director General makes decisions about termination of life support for a child in the CEO's care under a protection order. This is not delegated to any other Department officer. If a child is in provisional protection and care under s.35 or s.37, the Director General does not have the power to make such a decision alone.  Child Protection Legal Unit must be consulted in respect of getting parental consent and court endorsement.
  • Where child protection workers are faced with the prospect of termination of life support for a child in the CEO's care, the views and wishes of the child’s parents and carers must be obtained and recorded. If there are reasons why their views cannot be obtained, child protection workers must record the reason for this.
  • Where a child protection worker's religious or moral ethics preclude them from assisting in the termination of life support process, they must discuss this with their team leader to resolve any case management issues.
  • The decision to seek consent for the termination of life support represents a very serious issue for consideration by all parties. For this reason, submissions must be quality assured and endorsed by the team leader and endorsed by the district director. Consultation must be sought from General Counsel and the General Manager, Professional Practice Unit, or a senior practice development officer.
  • Where this decision involves an Aboriginal child, the Aboriginal practice leader (or other relevant Aboriginal officer) must be consulted to provide advice on culturally appropriate practice.
  • Where such decisions involve a culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) child, the senior CALD officer must be consulted to provide advice on culturally appropriate practice.
Process Maps

Not applicable

Procedures

  • Contact with the medical practitioners
  • Assessment of the child’s needs and the parents views and wishes
  • Contact with the child’s carers
  • Completion of documentation
  • Approval process
  • Planning and liaison with relevant parties
  • Recording
  • Contact with the medical practitioners

    Child protection workers must contact the medical practitioners involved with the child and request a report on the current circumstances and expected outcomes.

    Child protection workers should also request a copy of the legal documents that need to be completed if the decision to terminate life support is approved.

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    Assessment of the child’s needs and the parents views and wishes

    Child protection workers should undertake an assessment of the child’s needs and best interests. All reasonable attempts must be made to contact the child’s parents to seek their views and wishes, and involve them in the process.​

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    Contact with the child’s carers

    Child protection workers should also make contact with the carers to involve them in the process.​

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    Completion of documentation

    Child protection workers should access the template ‘Termination of Life Support’ from the 'templates' tab within the child’s '360 degree view' in Assist.  The child protection worker must add all the relevant details to the template submission for approval.

    The child protection worker will also need to complete the legal documents from the medical practitioners if the decision is to terminate life support.

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    Approval process

     

    1. The child protection worker submits the submission and other documentation to the team leader, who checks, considers, endorses and submits to the district director for consideration.
    2. The district director considers the submission and, if appropriate, endorses the submission and forwards the documentation to the Executive Director State-wide South East or Executive Director State-wide South West for consideration.
    3. The Executive Director considers the submission, if appropriate. If necessary, the Executive Director seeks advice from General Counsel.
    4. If approved, the Executive Director endorses the submission and forwards the documentation to the Director General for consideration and approval.
    5. The Director General considers the submission and approves, if appropriate. If necessary, the Director General seeks advice from General Counsel.
    6. If approved, the Director General signs the relevant legal documentation.
    7. The executive assistant forwards the signed submission and documentation to the district office.
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    Planning and liaison with relevant parties

    The district office or child protection worker directly liaises and plans with the medical professionals carers, parents and relevant parties.

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    Recording

    The child protection worker scans and saves all documentation to the case file and updates the 'Person' details and the Quarterly Care Review in Assist.

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