Articoli, saggi, Fine vita -  Redazione P&D - 2014-05-06


Guide on the decision-making process regarding medical treatment in end-of-life situations

This guide was drawn up by the Committee on Bioethics (DH‑BIO) of the Council of Europe in the course of its work on patients" rights and with the intention of facilitating the implementation of the principles enshrined in the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (Oviedo Convention, ETS No. 164, 1997).

When drafting the guide the DH‑BIO relied in particular on the results of a symposium on the decision‑making process regarding medical treatment in end‑of‑life situations, held by the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI)1 on 30 November and 1 December 2010.

The co‑ordination of this event was entrusted to the Chair of the CDBI, Ms Isabelle Erny (France). For the preparation of the symposium, the CDBI was able to draw on two reports – one by Professor Lucie Hacpille (France) on "Medical decisions in end‑oflife situations and the ethical implications of the available options" and the other by Professor Roberto Andorno (Switzerland) entitled "Previously expressed wishes relating to health care – Common principles and difering rules in national legal systems".

A follow‑up group was appointed to prepare a draft guide on support for the decision‑making process based on the results of the symposium. The group, chaired by Ms Isabelle Erny, comprised Dr Béatrice Ioan (Romania), Professor Andréas Valentin (Austria) and the symposium general rapporteur, Professor Régis Aubry (France).

In December 2012, the DH‑BIO agreed to publish for consultation the draft guide prepared by the follow‑up group. The public consultation ran from February to April 2013 and allowed comments to be collected from representatives of the various sectors concerned (particularly patients, health professionals, bioethics experts and human rights lawyers).

The version of the draft guide revised to take account of the comments received was approved by the DH‑BIO at its 4th plenary meeting (26‑28 November 2013). It was sent to the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) which took note of it and then sent it to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for information.


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