As I am Portugal this week, I should blog about this new law that was published a few weeks ago: “Rights of Persons in the Context of Advanced Disease and End-of-Life.” The law discussed advance directives and other familiar elements. I highlight just a few features below.
Informed Consent: Terminally ill patients have a right to information regarding the nature of the disease, the estimated prognosis, and the different clinical scenarios and treatments available.
Right to Refuse: Terminally ill patients are entitled to be treated according to their care objectives and not to be subject to “dysthanasia” through “therapeutic and diagnostic obstinacy.”
Ethics Committees: “In case of insurmountable disagreement between patients or their legal representatives and health professionals as to the measures to be applied . . . granted access to the ethics councils of health care providers.”
Regional Ethics Committees: “Where care is provided at home or in an entity which does not have an ethics council, patients or their legal representatives shall be provided with access to the ethics bodies of the Medical Order, the Nurses’ Order and the Order of Psychologists.”