The law stipulates that every individual can:
- write his personal advance directives, a document specifying his wishes regarding treatment in the event that he is no longer able to speak for himself;
- designate a person of trust to represent him; also known as “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care”.
In 2017, only 14% of French people had already written their advance directives, according to the IFOP survey conducted for Alliance VITA. Some highly publicized end-of-life cases have reignited discussions about this topic, but it can be difficult to draft such a document alone.
Drawing on its extensive experience through its SOS End-of-Life Listening Service, Alliance VITA has edited a Guide to Advance Directives. This customizable guide encourages a trustful relationship between caregivers and patients, and includes practical issues that occur at the end-of-life: the place of care, how to maintain relationships, spiritual needs, and a possible agreement for organ donation. In accordance with the law, the underlying charter for these directives excludes both unreasonable obstinacy (unnecessary and disproportionate treatment) and euthanasia.
This new guide has been well received by both health professionals and the public, thus attesting that it provides a useful service to the general public.
Those who tested the first editions of this guide booklet appreciated its flexibility and clarity, which are even further enhanced in this all-new edition.