The Living Will and the new Euthanasia Law
OTIS Advocaten would like to inform you regarding a recent change that has been introduced in Spain following the publication of the Organic Law 3/2021, known as the Euthanasia Law.
Now the person himself is legally allowed to self-determine, within the limits established by this new law, the content of his or her will regarding the following aspects:
· Our personal values in order to guide doctors when making clinical decisions.
· Instructions on the care and treatment related to our health that we wish or do not wish to receive in certain situations in which we cannot personally communicate our wishes.
· Appoint a representative to act as an interlocutor with the doctor in charge or the healthcare team.
· Our decision regarding organ or body donation. In this case, the family’s authorisation is not required for the removal or use of the donated organs or body.
These options can be set out in a living will or an advance directives document.
There are different ways to make these declarations, but given the importance of this situation, our team at OTIS Advocaten can advise you on how to do it in a safer way.
When the responsible doctor certifies that the patient is not in full use of his or her faculties and cannot give his or her free, voluntary and conscious consent, and is also in a situation of serious, chronic and incapacitating suffering or serious and incurable illness causing intolerable physical or psychological suffering, the request for assistance in dying may be presented by another person of legal age and fully capable, accompanied by the living will or advance directives.
An article in the criminal code has also been modified, establishing that anyone who causes or actively cooperates in the death of another person shall not incur criminal liability, in compliance with the provisions of the organic law regulating euthanasia.
There are different ways of expressing what has been mentioned in this article:
* By means of a document called advance directives.
* By means of a living will.
* Private document in front of witnesses (its validity and requirements vary depending on the autonomous community).
Vocabulary | Blog
Euthanasia: the death of a person directly and intentionally, at the informed, express and reiterated request of that person, and which is carried out in a context of suffering due to an incurable illness or condition that the person experiences as unacceptable and which has not been mitigated by other means.
Advance directives: this is a document in which a person expresses his or her wishes regarding the medical care he or she wishes to receive when suffering from an irreversible or terminal illness that prevents him or her from expressing his or her wishes. The document in question is presented at the registry of the corresponding autonomous community.
Living will: The living will is a notarial document that is signed before a notary in which a person can freely express their will regarding the medical care they wish to receive when they suffer an irreversible or terminal illness that prevents them from expressing their will.