It is important to know that in regards to health care in Italy, your spouse and/or family CANNOT make the kind of decisions that one may find to be the case in their country of origin. To be specific and clear, if on suffers an injury that prevents them from communication their wishes to the medical staff, a spouse or family cannot make those decisions on their behalf. The doctors will be required to use every available method to extend life. Again, to be clear, if someone is being kept alive by artificial breathing, feeding, so on and so forth, family members cannot make the decision to have it discontinued. It will be necessary to get a judges permission, and that judge will confer with the doctors to determine whether it is appropriate to end the treatment. 


It was not until 2018 that Italy finally put into place a law that allowed people to put into place a document that made clear their choices for extraordinary medical care. It is called the

Informed Consent and Advance Care Directives

Click on the above text to download a document that gives a description of the rights. Click on the image above to download a copy of a form you can use

In summary – The Italian Parliament has for the first time regulated the issue of consent and refusal of healthcare treatments, whether currently expressed or advance. This article elaborates on recent Italian legislation that details a patient’s right to consent to or refuse treatment in advance, including refusal of artificial nutrition and hydration, the duty of doctors in the event of an emergency, the shared planning treatment, the role of durable power of attorney, and advance healthcare directives. It is frequently called a Testamento Biological. 

It is not necessary to have legal representation to fill out this form. You will want to have a copy with another person who can be contacted in case it is needed. You will also want to have some kind of documentation on your person, such as in your emergency contacts on your phone, or a card in the documents you normally carry on your person.