Advance healthcare directives (AD) are still intensively animating debates in Europe and worldwide, leading to the enactment of different laws, according to the diverse legal, sociocultural, religious and philosophical traditions of each society1 . After a long complicated seemingly ever-lasting process, on the 14th of December 2017 the Italian Parliament finally approved the Law on “Informed consent and Advance healthcare directives” putting Italy on the same level as other European countries, which have previously regulated this complicated matter2 . The most controversial point of the law is represented by AD. Section 4 states that everyone able to make a proper judgment, regarding any possible future inability to self-determine, can, through AD, express their beliefs and preferences concerning health treatments, consent or refusal to any diagnostic or therapeutic choice, including artificial nutrition and hydration. One can also indicate a person of trust to represent him/her in the relationships with doctors and hospitals2 . Furthermore, the same provision specifies that the doctor is obliged to respect the AD, unless: a) the patient requests a treatment opposing the law or medical deontology, or b) the AD is clearly incongruous, or c) new and unpredictable therapies have come into force. Therefore, ADs are binding; conscientious objection is not foreseen. The reference of the law to medical deontology finds its rationale in section 38 of the Italian Code of Medical Ethics, updated in May 2014, where the requirements that AD must meet are stated3 . With this new law2 Italy conforms to the orientation of the other main European countries, obliging the respect of ADs, even if the limits are slightly different, France4 , Germany5 , Spain6 and England7 they are binding. We wish to draw the attention of the whole medical scientific community to this matter, advocating for an open dialogue to discuss the ethical and medical issues concerning AD, thereby facilitating the improvement and implementation of guidelines and policies to safeguard patients together with healthcare providers1 . There has been considerable progress in addressing all the ethical issues regarding AD and as a consequence of the constant innovation in medical science and an increase in life expectancy we can demand more research into this topic.

Advance healthcare directives: moving towards a universally recognized right / Montanari Vergallo, G; Busardò, F P; Berretta, P; Marinelli, E; Zaami, S. - In: EUROPEAN REVIEW FOR MEDICAL AND PHARMACOLOGICAL SCIENCES. - ISSN 2284-0729. - 22:10(2018), pp. 2915-2916. [10.26355/eurrev_201805_15043]

Advance healthcare directives: moving towards a universally recognized right

Montanari Vergallo, G
Primo
;
Busardò, F P
Secondo
;
Marinelli, E
Penultimo
;
Zaami, S
Ultimo
2018

Abstract

Advance healthcare directives (AD) are still intensively animating debates in Europe and worldwide, leading to the enactment of different laws, according to the diverse legal, sociocultural, religious and philosophical traditions of each society1 . After a long complicated seemingly ever-lasting process, on the 14th of December 2017 the Italian Parliament finally approved the Law on “Informed consent and Advance healthcare directives” putting Italy on the same level as other European countries, which have previously regulated this complicated matter2 . The most controversial point of the law is represented by AD. Section 4 states that everyone able to make a proper judgment, regarding any possible future inability to self-determine, can, through AD, express their beliefs and preferences concerning health treatments, consent or refusal to any diagnostic or therapeutic choice, including artificial nutrition and hydration. One can also indicate a person of trust to represent him/her in the relationships with doctors and hospitals2 . Furthermore, the same provision specifies that the doctor is obliged to respect the AD, unless: a) the patient requests a treatment opposing the law or medical deontology, or b) the AD is clearly incongruous, or c) new and unpredictable therapies have come into force. Therefore, ADs are binding; conscientious objection is not foreseen. The reference of the law to medical deontology finds its rationale in section 38 of the Italian Code of Medical Ethics, updated in May 2014, where the requirements that AD must meet are stated3 . With this new law2 Italy conforms to the orientation of the other main European countries, obliging the respect of ADs, even if the limits are slightly different, France4 , Germany5 , Spain6 and England7 they are binding. We wish to draw the attention of the whole medical scientific community to this matter, advocating for an open dialogue to discuss the ethical and medical issues concerning AD, thereby facilitating the improvement and implementation of guidelines and policies to safeguard patients together with healthcare providers1 . There has been considerable progress in addressing all the ethical issues regarding AD and as a consequence of the constant innovation in medical science and an increase in life expectancy we can demand more research into this topic.
Advance healthcare directive; AD; italian law
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01f Lettera, Nota
Advance healthcare directives: moving towards a universally recognized right / Montanari Vergallo, G; Busardò, F P; Berretta, P; Marinelli, E; Zaami, S. - In: EUROPEAN REVIEW FOR MEDICAL AND PHARMACOLOGICAL SCIENCES. - ISSN 2284-0729. - 22:10(2018), pp. 2915-2916. [10.26355/eurrev_201805_15043]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1481199
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