Doctors' knowledge of the law on withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment

Ben White, Lindy Willmott, Colleen Cartwright, Malcolm H Parker and Gail Williams
Med J Aust 2015; 202 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja14.01363
Published online: 2 February 2015

In reply: General medicine was one of eight specialties included at the pilot stage of our research. However, the response rate of general physicians was only 6% — the lowest of all specialties. We considered this rate to reflect a relative lack of interest in the topic, perhaps because end-of-life decision making is only part of the more diverse practice of general physicians. Our method for determining which specialties to survey also included a literature review, and asking doctors who pretested the survey instrument which specialties were most involved in end-of-life decision making. After extensive discussion within the research team, general physicians were removed from the main study.

  • Ben White1
  • Lindy Willmott1
  • Colleen Cartwright2
  • Malcolm H Parker3
  • Gail Williams3

  • 1 Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 2 Southern Cross University, Gold Coast, QLD.
  • 3 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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