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Vatican newspaper op-ed cautions against advance end-of-life directives

February 23, 2017

A palliative care specialist, writing on the front page of L’Osservatore Romano’s February 23 edition, cautioned readers against drafting advance directives for end-of-life care.

Advance directives assumed greater importance in France’s 2016 law on end-of-life care, popularly known as the Claeys-Leonetti law. Reflecting on the law, Ferdinando Cancelli said that he has tried to write an advance directive for himself but in the end chose not to do so, for there are “too many points difficult to predict, too many generic affirmations, or, on the contrary, affirmations too precise for unknown situations.”


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  • Posted by: rpp - Feb. 24, 2017 8:53 AM ET USA

    I am dying of cancer, but probably have a couple of years. My oncologist (in USA) required the I fill out an advance directive as a condition of treatment. These are tricky but basically I said no invasive or extraordinary measures unless there was a likely chance that I would be able to get off the machines.