<i>Debates on end-of-life care and the legalization of “good death” in Taiwan</i>

Bibliographic Information

Other Title
  • 台湾における終末期医療の議論と「善終」の法制化
  • 台湾における終末期医療の議論と「善終」の法制化 : 「安寧緩和医療法」から「病人自主権利法」へ
  • タイワン ニ オケル シュウマツキ イリョウ ノ ギロン ト 「 ゼン シュウ 」 ノ ホウセイカ : 「 アンネイ カンワ イリョウホウ 」 カラ 「 ビョウニン ジシュ ケンリホウ 」 エ
  • -「安寧緩和医療法」から「病人自主権利法」へ-
  • the Hospice and Palliative Care Act and the Patient Self-Determination Act

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Abstract

<p>     The Patient Self-Determination Act, which permits the withholding and withdrawing of lifesustaining treatment from non-terminal patients, was enacted in Taiwan in 2016. Patients having the clinical conditions of 1)irreversible coma, 2)persistent vegetative state, 3)late-stage dementia, and 4)rare diseases are permitted to write advance directives and express their wishes concerning life-sustaining treatment. This paper examines the background of this legal change and explains how the concept of “good death” and the reasoning about the patient's autonomy have led to the enactment of this new law. As the old law “Hospice and Palliative Care Act” has scope for ambiguous interpretation regarding the patient's autonomy pertaining to end-of-life care, patient groups have asked lawmakers for a new law and one that clarifies the patient's right to self-determination since 2014. During the debate surrounding this legal change, the concept of “good death” was used and is stated in the first article of the act as its purpose. As “good death” is limited to specific clinical conditions, this paper concludes that the right to self-determination is not necessarily equivalent to the right to “good death,” and that more discussion is needed before the implementation of the new act.</p>

Journal

  • Bioethics

    Bioethics 27 (1), 113-121, 2017

    Japan Association for Bioethics

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