Advance Directive from the Romanian Social Cultural Perspective

Advance Directive from the Romanian Social Cultural Perspective| Silvia DUMITRAS, Mariana ENACHE, Andrada PARVU, Stefana Maria MOISA, Catalin IOV & Beatrice IOAN
Abstract: Giving value to the wishes of the terminal patients regarding the treatment at the end of their life, the use of the advance directive, as an extension of their autonomy when the patients are incompetent, represents a mean to respect and promote their dignity. The authors present and discuss the results of their research that analysed the attitude of Romanians toward the use of the advance directive to identify the usefulness of implementing such a document in the Romanian social cultural context.
The target group in this research is general population over 18 years old, speaking Romanian and without psychological illnesses. The representative random sample lot included 828 persons from Iasi County. The data were recorded based on a transversal descriptive study, using the method of questionnaire enquiry. The persons participating in the study admitted the importance of respecting the patient’s dignity and autonomy with reference to decisions concerning the treatment at the end of life. For the subjects agreeing with legalizing the advance directive, the main advantages of such a document are firstly the respect of the patient’s right to decide and secondly the improvement of the medical treatment. The study showed that young, healthy and better educated individuals are interested in the advance directive and are in favour of introducing it in the current medical practice. The results of our research suggest that educational and informative programmes are needed in Romania regarding the role and usefulness of the advance directive, as well as the way to implement it, in order to encourage the implication of all adult persons in planning their own medical treatment in general and in particular in the medical decisions concerning the end of life.
Keywords: medical decision, end of life, advance directive, ethics.