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Patient decrees – what you need to know

By making a patient decree, you guarantee that your wishes with regard to medical treatment will be followed when you are no longer able to make your own decisions due to accident or illness.

A patient decree regulates medical treatment in the final stage of an illness or following a serious accident. A distinction is made between:

  • standard patient decrees, which contain brief general instructions and
  • patient decrees containing detailed instructions on treatment (advance care directives), which are made by people who are already seriously ill.

A patient decree must be made by the person it concerns.

Write down your wishes and give the completed decree, dated and signed, to your general practitioner or your next-of-kin. Alternatively, you can draw up the patient decree online and notify your doctor or relatives where it can be found. Carry a note about your patient decree and where it can be found in your wallet or purse. You can also put a note about where it can be found on your insurance card.

You should check your patient decree regularly to make sure it is still up-to-date and what you want; if need be, correct it and confirm its validity by dating and signing it again.

You will find a selection of patient decrees to download here:

Patient decrees