Case Study: Ben’s Story

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Assessment type: Case study Length: 1500 words (+/- 10%)

Weighting: 35%

Subject related SiLOs: 1-3


This case study is adapted from Ben’s s story, who you’ll be familiar with from workshops

you’ve attended:

Ben is a 65-year-old, retired gentleman who lives with his supportive wife Jan. They have two adult children Jason and Rose. Ben was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer three years ago, and was treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Up until recently Ben had been fit and well, with scans showing no recurrence of the cancer. A month ago, Ben developed a cough and chest pain, and after seeing his doctor was referred for diagnostic imaging. Unfortunately, those investigations revealed a recurrence of Ben’s lung cancer, which has now metastasised. Please watch the conversation between Ben and his doctor here:

Ben has been well supported by Jan since receiving this news, however Jan has found Ben’s care increasingly difficult to manage. As such, Ben is transferred to an aged care facility for respite care. During Ben’s stay, Ben discusses his concerns about dying with Jen, a care worker at the facility. Please watch the conversation here:

You are required to write a case -based essay that answers the questions listed below. Although you will need to understand the illness trajectory of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, you are not required to discuss the specific pathophysiology of lung cancer; the focus of this essay is to explore the role of advance care planning in the context of Ben’s chronic illness progression as well as other relevant legislation pertinent to a person with a chronic illness.

Some Victorian Acts to consider are:

  • The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic.) which was last updated on 24/5/23
  • The Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic.) which was last updated on 24/5/23
  • The Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic.) which was last updated on 26/4/21 ( )

Question One

What are the differences between the next of kin, a medical treatment decision maker, a support person, a power of attorney, and a guardian in relation to Ben? Please give examples of each describing their legal role involved in Ben’s care. Which one/s would be the most appropriate for Ben to have in his current condition? Why?

Question Two

Define advance care planning and discuss the possible benefits of advance care planning for both Ben and Jan.

Question Three

At what point during Ben’s illness trajectory might a conversation on advanced care planning be initiated with Ben? There may be differing opinions on this within the literature, please describe these giving examples as to why the opinions differ.

Question Four

When would an advance care directive be reviewed? Who can activate it and when?

Planning your essay:

When you plan your essay, consider a person-centred approach to support your discussion. You need to support your discussion with high quality, peer reviewed literature, with a minimum of ten (10) references. Your essay needs to draw from legislation that is relevant to Victoria, as laws and legislation vary both nationally and internationally.

Assessment format:

  • Provide a cover page, with your name, student ID, subject, assessment name, and word count
  • Briefly identify Ben in the introduction, his diagnosis of metastatic lung cancer and how it applies to the progression of his chronic illness to set the context for your discussion. To do this you will need an understanding of the illness trajectory of metastatic lung cancer, and how the progression of the disease will impact Ben.
  • Include an introduction, body and conclusion in your Use headings to indicate the topic you are discussing.
  • Ensure you have clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and
  • Conclude your essay by summarising, not simply restating the essay but by re- addressing it considering the evidence Never add any additional and new information.
  • You are required to write in an academic style, not writing in the first person, nor using bullet points.
  • You are required to use peer reviewed, scholarly articles to support each point you make. You may use a minimum of four (4) Australian government or other authoritative websites as a point of reference, however the use of web- based sources, or any non -peer reviewed sources is not acceptable (i.e. Better Health channel, Wikipedia). References should be current (i.e. within the last ten (10) years).
  • Ensure that any statement of fact is supported by evidence, correctly referenced in- text and in the reference list (using APA7). When using evidence, paraphrase where possible, and always cite sources.
  • For the purposes of this assessment, the word count does not include the cover page, in-text references, headings, appendices, nor reference (The 10% leeway allowed in the word count will cover the in-text references when you are working out your number of words used).

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