Anticipated directive is not the same as arrangements for the end of life. Both forms are found in the brochure “Ma volonté en fin de vie” (My will at the end of life) published under the patronage of the Ministry for Family and the Ministry for Health.
The anticipated directive, which is at the beginning of the brochure in the brown section, is governed by the law on palliative care, anticipated directive and accompaniment at the end of life. Through this directive the patient is able to describe their will concerning their “natural” end of life; that is without any influence on the moment of their passing away.
The patient will preferably hand copies to their person of trust, another person of their choice and to their treating doctor.
In that document, the patient does not put their signature in order to undergo euthanasia: the anticipated directive allows for the exclusion of aggressive and futile therapy. It is not required for it to be registered by La Commission Nationale de Control et d’Evaluation.
“The arrangements for the end of life”, which are at the end of the brochure in the blue section, are governed by the law on euthanasia and assistance to suicide.
The arrangement for the end of life are a request for euthanasia submitted in advance in case one is at a later time in life, in a situation of irreversible unconsciousness according to the current stance of science and suffers from a serious and incurable accidental or pathological condition.
The arrangement for the end of life must absolutely be registered by La commission Nationale de Controle et d’Evaluation in order to be valid. The registration of a person of trust remains optional but highly recommended to ensure their will is respected.
Both forms, the anticipated directive and the arrangement for the end of life, only come into force when the person is unconscious and is unable to express their will.
He or she is in an advanced or terminal stage of a serious and uncurable condition and a stop to examinations and treatment which bring neither relief nor improvement of the condition, will be requested through the signing of an anticipated directive.
A person signs their arrangement for the end of life in the event they find themselves later on in a situation of irreversible unconsciousness according to the current stance of science, suffering from a serious and incurable accidental or pathological condition. He or she may undergo euthanasia under the condition that the doctor is willing.