People over 16 years of age
Emergency medical or dental treatment can be given to a person over 16 years of age who has not given consent where:
Can a medical pracitioner perform treatment despite a binding refusal in an advance care directive?
Yes, if the first three dot points above are satisfied AND the medical practitioner who is to administer the treatment "reasonably believes":
However, if a substitute decision-maker, guardian or person responsible is "reasonably available" (in that order, see When someone 16 or over can't consent), then the medical practitioner should not administer the treatment without their consent [ss 13(3)-(4a)].
People under 16 years of age
For emergency treatment on a child under 16 years age where consent cannot be obtained from the child, parental consent must always be sought. If a parent or guardian is unavailable, treatment may proceed if it is essential to the child's health and well being and a second doctor who has examined the child before treatment gives written support. Treatment may also proceed despite a parent or guardian's refusal to consent, if treatment is in the best interests of the child's health and well-being.
The Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 (SA) does not prevent a claim being made against a health professional who performs the emergency medical or dental treatment negligently [s 8(1)(b)(ii)]. The common law still requires the health professional to take reasonable care in performing emergency medical or dental treatment.