Elder Law, Ethics & Healthcare Conference

Navigating the legal, ethical & practical challenges in providing optimal healthcare for our ageing population


Registration and coffee
Opening remarks from the Chair
Holly Hedley, Senior Associate, Buddle Findlay
Priorities for the future of elder care
Opening Address: Outlining priorities for the well-being of an ageing population

In this session we discuss priorities in response to a growing ageing population.

Common and growing areas of concern for the ageing population
  • What are the most common and growing complaints raised with Age Concern
  • How is Age Concern working with the Government and other agencies to address these issues?
  • Case studies: Identifying positive outcomes witnessed through contact with Age Concern
Stephanie Clare, Chief Executive, Age Concern New Zealand
Introducing a PPPR Toolkit

We hear an overview of the PPPR Toolkit which has been developed and rolled out through Northland DHB. This resource has potential for assisting professionals in other regions when negotiating the delicate issues surrounding assessing capacity, working with EPA’s or lack of EPA’s, the legal rights and sound decision making in the best interests of elderly patients suffering limited mental capacity.

Rachel MacKinnon, Professional Advisor – Social Work, Northland District Health Board
Morning break
Addressing pressing concerns
Social and legal perspectives in recognising and acting on cases of elder abuse and neglect

In this session we hear some cases of elder abuse and neglect, and ways that cases have been identified and managed alongside legal outcomes.

  • Introducing example cases of elder abuse
  • What next? Discussing the follow up - legal, physical and emotional care provided for the victims
  • Navigating the legal processes involved in real cases of elder abuse
  • Highlighting considerations to aid best outcomes for victims of elder abuse
Hanny Naus, Professional Educator: Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Age Concern New Zealand
Darien Mahoney, Community lawyer / Rōia Hapori, Community Law Centre Wellington and Hutt Valley
Panel: A discussion on the available and future skills and knowledge capability and any gap in capacity, faced with an ageing population
  • What are the clinical gaps encountered or predicted with the growth of the ageing population?
  • What is the potential for developing government policy around a potential shortage?
  • How can professionals be proactive and active in mitigating a skill shortage?
Hamish Peart, Partner, Schmidt & Peart Law Ltd
Trish Chivers, Professional Lead Social Worker, Hutt valley DHB
Dr Ben Gray, General Practitioner, Newtown Union Health Service & Senior Lecturer, University of Otago Wellington Medical School
Lunch break
Legal frameworks around vulnerable older people
Mental capacity law: Making a difference in the here and now
  • A brief overview of current law around mental health capacity
  • What are the protective mechanisms within the current legal framework?
  • How can we plug the gaps unmet by current law?
Iris Reuvecamp, Principal , Vida Law
Practical insights for performing capacity assessments on older patients
  • Understanding what constitutes capacity in older patients
  • Exploring environmental factors that affect capacity
  • Performing a capacity assessment; available tools and testing
  • Investigating digital tools to support assessment
Dr Mark Fisher, Clinical Head - Mental Health Services for Older People, Counties Manukau DHB / Middlemore Hospital
Legal issues in end-of-life care
  • The current law - including discussing the legal status of advance directives and DNRs
  • The status of the 'right to die' in New Zealand and overseas -Lecretia Seales' case (and others)
  • Looking ahead - the End of Life Choice Bill and other developments
Holly Hedley, Senior Associate, Buddle Findlay
Afternoon break
Improving cultural competence in the field of elder care
  • Exploring the evolving diverse nature of our communities
  • Identifying increasingly common issues around cultural differences encountered by practitioners
  • Understanding and communicating effectively in a healthcare setting
  • Advocating for person-centric communication for effective cultural competence going forward
Dr Ben Gray, General Practitioner, Newtown Union Health Service & Senior Lecturer, University of Otago Wellington Medical School
Sexual relationships; Rights vs. protection for vulnerable older people

This session outlines legal parameters and guidelines for practitioners, social workers and care givers who have concerns about older people in their care. Where are the ethical and legal boundaries around an older person’s right to autonomy vs. their right to protection
from unwanted sexual contact?

Anita Miller, Partner, Claro Law
Summary remarks from the Chair and Networking Drinks
Welcome back from the Chair
Elder care for patients living with disability
Update from the Office of the Health & Disability Commissioner
  • Reviewing recent cases brought to the attention of the HDC·
  • What are the primary areas of concern for consumers?
  • What are the HDC’s recommendations in response to these concerns?
Sarah Royal, Deputy Chief Legal Advisor, Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner
Enabling Good Lives - strategies to improve well-being for elderly with disabilities
  • Advocating for a person-centric approach rather than one-size-fits-all
  • Discussing resources accessible for elderly living with disabilities, such as the “Enabling Good Lives” project
  • What strategies can be implemented to improve the well-being for our ageing population suffering long term disability
Jey Balasundaram, Client Services Manager, Creative Abilities & Associates Limited
Morning break
Supporting the end-of-life journey
Introducing the Poi project; a Palliative Outcomes Initiative

Poi is an Auckland-wide initiative to provide palliative care to more Aucklanders, earlier in their end-of-life journey and is planned for delivery in late 2017.

  • Understanding the Poi project and how it was initiated
  • What are the desired outcomes and benefits to both patients and agencies?
  • How will this be implemented and rolled out going forward?
  • What is the potential for the project nationwide?
Dr James Jap, Clinical Director and Palliative Medicine Specialist, Totara Hospice South Auckland
Panel: Addressing legal and clinical end-of-life issue
  • What are the most common or difficult to navigate legal issues encountered or witnessed by professionals when dealing with those with life-limiting illnesses and their families or support persons?
  • What are the most challenging situations for clinicians and social workers, and are changes in legislation the answer to addressing these?
  • Spotlight on euthanasia; is this desirable from the point of view of health professionals?
Nicola Ridder, Senior Associate, Buddle Findlay
Mark Weatherall, Geriatrician, Capital & Coast DHB / Wellington Hospital
Dr James Jap, Clinical Director and Palliative Medicine Specialist, Totara Hospice South Auckland
Lunch break
Topical issues for elder healthcare professionals
Retirement villages and the continuum of care

In this session we investigate the balance of resources needed to care for those in residential care. The Healthy Ageing Strategy, released by the National-lead Government in December 2016 expects a more efficient use of resources and changing DHBs’ policies to allow villages to deliver this care themselves under contract will result in better outcomes for residents and the operator.

John Collyns, Executive Director, Retirement Villages Association
Addressing ACC issues for older claimants
  • Why many older patients can suffer exclusion from ACC cover
  • What does this mean in the context of accidents and the treatment of injuries?
  • What is the impact of changing demographics and longevity on the current systems?
Hamish Peart, Partner, Schmidt & Peart Law Ltd
Afternoon break
Addressing pay equity issues in the elder sector

In this session we hear an overview of the legal battles surrounding pay equity for workers in the health sector. What developments have occurred since Kristine Bartlett's pay equity claim against TerraNova and what challenges will the future hold?

Jennifer Howes, Senior Solicitor, Buddle Findlay
Issues around welfare guardianship in New Zealand
  • What are the current regional differences around welfare guardianship?
  • Exploring the legal and practical challenges for the patient, families and practitioners
  • How can lawyers work with other professionals to create better outcomes for elderly patients?
Annette Gray, Partner, Buchanan Gray Lawyers & Mediators
Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference
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