Advanced Health Care Directives

Advanced Health Care Directives is a document in which any lucid, over 18-years old person, registers their wishes concerning what they want or not in case they have (or will have) a severe disease in terminal stage and is unable to express their will.

The objective of the Advanced Health Care Directives is to provide the patient’s autonomy, giving them the right to choose how he/she wants to be treated at the edge of his/her death so he/she will not suffer over medical procedures which he/she can be submitted to. But it does not allow the death to be shortened in a controlled manner (euthanasia) because it is a practice considered a crime by the Federal Council of Medicine.

There is not a standard letter for an Advanced Health Care Directives, you just need to have a paper written and signed or a simple oral agreement between the physician and the patient. It can be altered, counting that the person is lucid to do so. No close relative can interfere in the patient’s will and change the document. The physician can disagree of the Advanced Health Care Directives in case the request disagrees with the principle provided in the Code of Medical Ethics.

When there is no will provided by the patient, the physician shall recur to the Bioethics Committee of the institution, to the Medical Ethics Committee of the hospital or to the Federal and Regional Council of Medicine to base their decision on ethical conflicts.