The Patient Autonomy Act Passes in Taiwan

The Patient Autonomy Act Passes in Taiwan
Photo Credit: Bill McChesney CC BY 2.0

What you need to know

Legislator Yang Yu-xin says that this legislation allows people to decide in advance whether or not they want to receive treatment when they are in ill conditions in the future or if they want to die naturally. This protects the medical autonomy of patients and is the first Taiwanese law of which patients are subjects.

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On the evening of December 18, the Legislative Yuan passed the third reading of The Patient Autonomy Act, allowing patients to decide whether or not to receive medical treatment.

CNA reports, according to The Patient Autonomy Act, patients with full civil capacity can sign a medical decision form to express whether they accept or reject to receive medical treatment beforehand.

This law applies to five kinds of clinical conditions, including terminally ill, irreversible comas, persistent vegetative states, severe dementia, unbearable pain, incurable diseases and so on. Each condition has to be identified and diagnosed by two qualified specialists or physicians.

Liberty Times reports, legislator Yang Yu-xin says that this legislation allows people to decide in advance whether or not they want to receive treatment when they are in ill conditions in the future or if they want to die naturally. This protects the medical autonomy of patients and is the first Taiwanese law of which patients are subjects.

UDN reports, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je says currently in Taiwan, doctors normally don’t explain to cancer patients or those whose lives are in danger what conditions they are in. Instead, they explain and discuss with the patient’s family.

Ko says he supports the patients advocating for autonomy. Patients should be able to decide what treatment they want to receive and Ko says this law will have an impact on the medical community in Taiwan.

Translated by June and Olivia Yang
Edited by Olivia Yang

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