Challenge a decision about a medical research procedure

Under the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016, Victorians can appoint a medical treatment decision makerDefinitionA person who has the authority to make medical treatment decisions on behalf of another person. or support personDefinitionIn cases about medical treatment and advance care directives, this is someone who represents another person’s interests about medical treatment. They support a person to make, communicate and help bring about the person’s medical treatment decisions. to help them make decisions about medical research procedures.

You can apply to have VCAT decide on whether a medical research procedureDefinitionA procedure carried out for medical research. For example, a procedure as part of a clinical trial. is appropriate for someone.

Who can apply?

Most people can apply.

VCAT may decide to reject an application if we do not believe the applicantDefinitionThe person or organisation applying to VCAT. has a special interest in the affairs of the person who a medical research procedure is for.

What we can do

  • Decide whether a decision about a medical research procedure is valid, effective or appropriate.
  • Provide advice or direction to a medical treatment decision maker about their authority to consent to a medical research procedure on behalf of someone else.

What we cannot do

We cannot appoint a medical treatment decision maker or support person on someone’s behalf.

For information on how to appoint someone, contact the Office of the Public Advocate

Documents you need to apply

  • A current medical report which addresses the person’s capacity to make medical treatment decisions – download our medical report template and give this to their medical practitioner.
  • Any other documentation to support your case.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission. Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

Find legal services that may be able to assist you.

Need help with your application?

We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.

Legislation that applies to this type of case