Taipei, Taiwan – Officially stated from a member of the Department of Health (DOH) last Thursday, health insurance cards with remarks that the card holder doesn’t want to receive any emergency treatment during the terminal stage of his life will be considered as a legal.
The director of the DOH’s Medical Affairs Bureau namely Shih Chung-liang has announced this after Executive Yuan has passed an amendment to the Hospice and Palliative Care Act earlier that day.
As stated by Shih, “The marking will be seen as a written statement by the patient that clearly indicates his or her will.”
“When the family members of the patient express different views during the treatment process, medical personnel will make their decisions based on the patient’s will, ” Shih added since patients are given the freedom to change their decisions and accept other necessary treatments.
Just last month, approximately 40,000 people have created prior statements regarding their hospice and palliative care plus made marks on their health insurance cards. Shih as well expressed that the quantity of those who have the desire yet have not clearly stated their wills should go beyond that number. He mentioned the cancer patients as an example since about 40,000 people die in Taiwan annually due to cancer.
Shih as well stated that, “The DOH has estimated that about 70 percent of terminally ill cancer patients want to give up emergency treatment as they approach their final stage of life.”
Shih as well expressed that those patients who will not be receiving emergency treatments like invasive intubation as well as defibrillation are not giving up all their medical treatment since palliative treatment like drug administration will still be one of the interventions for them.
Patients who wish to have their cards marked may visit the local Bureau of National Health Insurance office or perhaps can request the hospital to apply on their behalf. This said amendment was anticipated to be permitted by the Legislative Yuan.