Málaga tops list for living wills

Nearly 8,000 people in the province have registered their desired end-of-life medical treatment

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Andalucía's right-to-die law was inspired in part by Granada woman Inmaculada Echevarría's successful legal battle to be disconnected from her respirator in 2007 (Photo AFP)

SOME 7,800 people in Málaga province have officially filed a living will to declare the type of medical care they want undertaken in the event of extreme, irreversible injury or illness that leaves them unable to voice their wishes at the time of treatment. More people have filed a living will in Málaga than in any other province of Andalucía, where the region-wide total is 32,186.

Andalucía created the no-extraordinary-measures registry (‘Registro de Voluntades Vitales Anticipadas’) in May 2004, giving residents the right to sign a legally-binding declaration of the type of life-saving or life-sustaining treatments or interventions they do or do not want undertaken. In 2010 the regional government enacted a broader right-to-die law, aimed at providing terminally ill patients the right to a ‘dignified death’ by allowing them to reject artificial means of life support, including halting already ongoing treatment such as by disconnecting a respirator.

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