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Taiwan to have a Patient Autonomy law in 2019

Accoding to a newly approved law (the Patient Autonomy Law) citizens of Taiwan from 2019 officialy can  a so called Advance Decision. Suich a decision is legal in explicitly described conditions:

  • terminal illness
  • irreversible coma
  • permanent vegetative state
  • severe dementia
  • Other disease conditions, announced by the central competent authority, that shall meet all of the following requirements that the conditions or sufferings are unbearable, that the disease is incurable and that there are no other appropriate treatment options available given the medical standards at the time of the disease’s occurrence) to refuse life-sustaining treatment (LST) and artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH).

Previously under the Hospice Palliative Care Act, only terminally ill patients can write a letter of intent for the choice of hospice palliative care or life sustaining treatment, which refers to the medical procedures which could maintain terminal illness patients’ vital signs to extend dying process without curative effect. However, when the Patient Right to Autonomy Act is in force in 2019, all patients can establish an advance decision to decide what kinds of LST/ANH they would refuse in future, when their clinical conditions are one of the five clinical conditions mentioned above.

More specific information on on both acts can be found here  and here.