Vol 13, No 4 (2019)
Review paper
Published online: 2020-01-03

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Selected aspects of advance care planning according to Polish legal regulations — physician’s requirements

Leszek Pawłowski1, Aleksandra Modlińska1, Monika Lichodziejewska-Niemierko1
Palliat Med Pract 2019;13(4):197-203.


In 2017, the group of 109 experts from various countries developed the international consensus definition
of advance care planning (ACP), which is defined as enabling individuals to define objectives and preferences
for future medical treatment and care, to discuss these goals and preferences with family and healthcare
providers, and to record and review these preferences if appropriate. ACP plays a significant role in the
care of patients with chronic diseases, and especially may have an impact on the situation of palliative
care patients, their families and healthcare professionals who look after them.
This article analyses the legal constraints of ACP in Poland, and presents legal regulations related to some
selected issues of ACP. One of the essential features of ACP is disclosing information to the patient and
taking into account the patient’s decisions concerning the treatment and medical care. This is provided
for in Polish law and healthcare professionals are obliged to observe it. Moreover, the Polish law includes
broad principles applying to providing the patient’s family with information about diagnosis and prognosis
of the disease. However, advance directives and health care proxy have not been regulated by national
law yet. Therefore, it seems that the incorporation of ACP into Polish healthcare system requires the development
of new legal regulations.

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