The present law is unclear as to who has the authority to make decisions as to the health care or medical treatment of persons in a vegetative or comatose state. There is also doubt as to who may manage their affairs for them. The Commission decided in March 2002 that a sub-committee should be established to examine this subject, together with the related issue of advance directives. Advance directives allow persons when mentally competent to make decisions as to the form of health care or medical treatment which they would like to receive at a future time when they are no longer competent. A sub-committee was formed to study this subject, and a consultation paper containing the sub-committee's proposals was published on 13 July 2004. A report on Substitute decision-making and advance directives in relation to medical treatment containing the Commission's proposals was released on 16 August 2006.
The members of the Decision-making and Advance Directives sub-committee are:
|Hon Mrs Sophie Leung, SBS, JP (Chairman)|
|Dr Lawrence Lai, JP (Deputy Chairman), Hospital Chief Executive, Queen Mary Hospital|
|Mr Sunny Chan, Senior Government Counsel, Law Drafting Division, Department of Justice|
|Dr Ho Kin-sang, Consultant (Family Medicine), Elderly Health Services, Department of Health|
|Dr Patrick Li, BBS, Chief of Service, Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital|
|Mr Herbert Tsoi, BBS, JP, Solicitor|
|Mrs Annie Williams, Assistant Official Solicitor, Official Solicitor's Office, Legal Aid Department|
|Dr Agnes Yeung, Sociologist|
The sub-committee's secretary is Ms Judy Cheung, Senior Government Counsel.