Advance care directives: Citizens, patients, doctors, institutions

  • Paola Delbon | paola.delbon@unibs.it Department of Surgery, Radiology and Public Health, Public Health and Humanities Section, University of Brescia; Centre of Bioethics Research, University of Brescia, Italy.
  • Simona Cacace Department of Law, University of Brescia, Italy.
  • Adelaide Conti Department of Surgery, Radiology and Public Health, Public Health and Humanities Section, University of Brescia; Centre of Bioethics Research, University of Brescia, Italy.

Abstract

Italian Law no. 219/2017 established the advance care directives (“Disposizioni anticipate di trattamento” – DAT), a legal document specifying the person’s wishes in relation to health, drawn up in case of the possible future incapacity to make informed decisions. DAT are an important instrument of empowerment for a person who is not necessarily a “patient” and enable the dialogue between healthcare providers and patient to continue when the latter is no longer able to take part consciously. DAT can only be implemented by guaranteeing the fundamental rights of the person, i.e. by ensuring the “non-complicated” use of this instrument and easy access to the DAT whenever it may be necessary. Furthermore, on the one hand, the requirement of adequate prior medical information has to contend with the fact that the wishes expressed in the document may have been formed outside of the therapeutic relationship; on the other hand, institutions must ensure that DAT are collected and recorded in such a way as to ensure their availability whenever and wherever necessary.

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Published
2019-12-04
Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
Advance care directives; respect for autonomy; patient selfdetermination; information; registry
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How to Cite
Delbon, P., Cacace, S., & Conti, A. (2019). Advance care directives: Citizens, patients, doctors, institutions. Journal of Public Health Research, 8(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphr.2019.1675