Deathbed instructions and the assessment of capacity: A practical perspective

Abadines, Evelyn & Purser, Kelly (2015) Deathbed instructions and the assessment of capacity: A practical perspective. In 34th International Congress on Law and Mental Health, 12 - 17 July 2015, Vienna. (Unpublished)


The assessment of capacity in the context of wills and advance care planning is a challenging task for modern practitioners with the increase in mentally disabling conditions, such as acquired brain injury. This challenge is only heightened in the situation where the assessment occurs at the client’s deathbed as there are the added elements of urgency, and emotional upheaval at the impending death of a loved one. This situation poses a minefield of problems a legal practitioner should be aware of, involving not only the assessment process but also potential professional liability issues. This presentation will address the practical considerations a legal professional should take into account when in this situation. We will focus on two discrete situations and the issues arising from them: first, where there has been an acquired brain injury and legal capacity is in question; and second, where a spinal injury has occurred which does not affect capacity, rather results in the inability to use conventional forms of communication to communicate his/her instructions. We will examine these case studies with a view to proposing a best practice model for legal practitioners when assessing capacity in this context.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

32 since deposited on 16 Sep 2015
29 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 87510
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Deathbed wills, Testamentary capacity, Practical perspective, Best practice, Case studies
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author
Deposited On: 16 Sep 2015 23:44
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2015 23:44

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page