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End of Life

A Launching Conference of the Guide on the decision-making process regarding medical treatment in end-of-life situations, organised by the Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO), took place on 5 May 2014 in Strasbourg, France, under the auspices of the Austrian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

The Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO) closed in April 2013 a public consultation on the Working document on decision-making process regarding medical treatment in end-of-life situations. The Committee entrusted the Drafting Group with the task of preparing a revised version of the guide on the decision-making process regarding medical treatment in end-of-life situations in the light of the comments received during the public consultation. The revised draft will be examined by the DH-BIO at its 4th plenary meeting (26-28 November 2013) with a view to its approval.

Symposium on the decision-making process regarding medical treatment in end of life situations, Strasbourg (France), 30 November-1 December 2010
A Symposium on the decision-making process regarding medical treatment in end-of-life situations was held on 30 November– 1 December 2010.
It was attended by about 150 professionals from all relevant disciplines (medical doctors, nurses, carers, lawyers, philosophers, etc.) as well as representatives of patients. The objective was to clarify certain concepts and identify points of convergence and possible divergences on issues related to the decision-making process concerning medical treatment in end of life situation. The conclusions of the Symposium by its general rapporteur Dr Regis Aubry (France), and co-rapporteurs Dr Beatrice Ioan (Romania) and Dr Takis Vidalis (Greece), were presented to the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI) in June 2011 and are being used as a basis for guidelines in this field.

Presentation of the speakers
Watch the symposium [1]

The speakers: abstracts, full texts and biographical notes

The French Parliament has adopted on 16 February 2010 the creation of a daily allowance of 49 Euros, payable for up to 21 days to persons interrupting their professional activity to accompany at home a close relative at end of life.
Adopted unanimously The law was passed unanimously by the French National Assembly, with both left and right wing parties approving the draft law, which took up the core elements within the law relative to patients’ rights and end of life, adopted in 2005 (Leonetti law). The text, which passed in the National Assembly not even a year ago, was adopted by the Senate, also unanimously, mid-January.
Modifications introduced by senators On Tuesday, the deputies followed some modifications introduced by the Senators. The allowance has been extended to cover proportionally those persons reducing their activity to part time. It can also be divided between several persons. Furthermore, not only the ascendants, descendants, siblings, persons sharing the same home, but also “confidential counselors” can benefit from the allowance.
The cost According to the government, this measure would cover “20 000” persons per year at a cost of circa 20 million Euros.

In response to a request by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in the light of Recommendation 1418(1999) of the Parliamentary Assembly on the protection of the human rights and dignity of the terminally ill and dying, the Steering Committee on Bioethics sent  in 2001 to the Council of Europe member states a questionnaire concerning aspects of their law and practice relating to euthanasia and other end of life decisions. This document contains an analysis of the responses of the 35 member states that replied.

[1] The interpretation of the seminars, conferences and other events serves to facilitate communication and does not constitute an authentic record of the proceedings. Only the original speech is authentic. No liability shall be incurred by the interpreter in the exercise of his/her function