Living Wills in Thailand

Living wills in Thailand are described as to advance health care directives which give instructions on future treatments by an individual who is still legally capable. It is one form of instruction specifying various actions that should be taken in situations wherein the person is no longer able to make decisions due to incapacity or illness.This is very important if you retire in Thailand when you consider your last will and testament.

A Thai living will could be a clause as a part of a specific type of Power of Attorney whereby someone would be appointed to make a decision in behalf of that person when they are incapacitated.

A Thai living will is recognized by the Thailand National Health Care Act of 2007 which gives a person the right to refuse treatment when in a terminal stage of life. It is a document drafted by a person when still legally fit to do so, in which that person requests to be allowed to die instead of being kept alive thru artificial methods. However, Euthanasia or the act of killing someone suffering from illness painlessly is still not allowed under the Thailand National Health Act. A licensed physician would be tasked to evaluate whether such person is of sound mind by examining his or her ability to communicate with others, to be able to understand their conditions and the effects of refusing future medical treatments.

A Living Will in Thailand is very necessary as it provides direction and carried out the wishes of an individual whether or not to be kept alive or on life support. It would reduce the uncertainty during a difficult time by implementing decisions regarding the medical procedures needed to prolong life. Also, it lessens the burden of the family members who would otherwise have to make the decision themselves. It states the requests of an individual pertaining to life support or artificial life in the event that he or she is in a vegetative state or coma and is not able to communicate his or her wishes. This document differs from the Last Will and Testament as the latter dictates the way assets are to be distributed after death.

Limitations of a living will in Thailand are: It does not permit euthanasia, or mercy killing; has nothing to do with assets and properties; appointment of proxies or medical agents to make decisions regarding his or her heath care and further medical treatment is not permitted.


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