Living in Andalucía - Making a Living Will

Making a Living Will

Andalucia's Living Will registry was created at the end of 2003 in order to ensure patients wishes regarding medical procedures are respected in situations where they are unable to make or express their decisions. Any adult or officially "emancipated" minor can register a living will. Its contents will be private and thus only available to the doctor attending the patient during a time of crises.

Even if you do not speak Spanish or feel your Spanish is not adequate to get you through the process of making and registering your will, you should be just fine (according to information obtained from the regional health services). You should be able to obtain help in English both from the public health help line, Salud Respond, and at other key points in the process.

If you would like to create and register a living will your first step is to obtain the official forms from your local public health clinic or by ringing Salud Responde on 902 505 060 for information regarding other means of obtaining the form in your area, or by Internet. Keep in mind that if you wish to designate someone to represent you and make decisions for you should you be incapacitated, you'll need to ask for a special, additional form - make that two if you'd like to also designate a substitute should that person be unable to stand in for you.

Once you have filled out the forms, you need to ring Salud Responde to ask for an appointment. These appointments always take place at the offices of your provincial health delegation, which will be located in the capital of your province. Rest assured, however, that regardless of the province where you register your will there is only one, single registry in Andalucia, so it will be honoured throughout southern Spain.

The day of your appointment bring your forms and either a passport or residencia for identification. Minors need to bring the official court papers proving their "emancipation". If you have named representatives to make medical decisions for you they do not have to accompany you to the appointment, however, you do need to bring either an identity document or an official photocopy (called a fotocopia compulsada) for each representative.

After your appointment your living will is supposed to be effective immediately, but you might wish to leave with a copy of all your documents as proof that you have completed the registration process.

At any time you can change your living will by going through the whole process again!

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