A Patient’s Right to Refuse Medical Treatment Through the Implementation of Advance Directives

Mujović, Hajrija (2020) A Patient’s Right to Refuse Medical Treatment Through the Implementation of Advance Directives. In: Theories of the Self and Autonomy in Medical Ethics. The International Library of Bioethics (83). Springer International Publishing, Dordrecht, pp. 137-145. ISBN 978-3-030-56702-6 eBook ISBN 978-3-030-56703-3

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Serbia’s legislation on patient rights has largely been formulated in response to contemporary understandings of human rights. But the way in which this legislation has been implemented reveals а misunderstanding concerning the degree to which the rights explicated in the Patient Right s Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 45. 2013) are applicable to patients receiving palliative саrе. There are issues particularly pertinent to terminally ill patients, including euthanasia (Article 28) and advance directives (Article 16) which nееd to be discussed and revised. First, according to the provisions, the term 'euthanasia' does not differentiate between passive and active forms of euthanasia, which means that both passive and active euthanasia is forbidden under Serbian law. However, in medical practice, there are situations in which passive euthanasia, e.g. withholding life-saving treatment, is permitted without sanction. The legality of this common practice is called into question bу the current formulation of the Patient Rights Act. In practice, this conflict is not visible given the fact that situations like this are interpreted as falling under the patient's broad right to refuse medical treatment. Second, regarding advance directives, I will argue that, according to Serbian law, а dying patient is entitled to basic rights and human dignity. This entails а right to prepare оnе's own advance directive, and to have it respected. Accordingly, provisions to allow for this should incorporated into Serbian legislation.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: medicine, patient rights, advance directives, Serbian law and ethics
Institutional centre: Centre for legal research
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2021 22:42
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2021 22:42
URI: http://iriss.idn.org.rs/id/eprint/524

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