A “Living Will in Thailand“, also known as a “Physician’s Directive”, is a separate document from a Last Will and testament. The difference between a Will and a “Living Will” is that the Living Will dictates how you will be cared for while you are still alive and a Will dictates funeral arrangements and how your assets will be divided after you have passed away. A “Living Will” has NOTHING to do with your property.
A “Living Will” allows you to decide in advance the medical care and treatment you want to receive. It applies if you become unable to express those wishes yourself. For example, you can specify whether you want to be kept on life prolonging machines. If you have no hope of recovering from an accident or terminal illness, whether you want food/hydration. It can also explain pain medication and other such decisions. A Living Will is an important document and easy to create. Wouldn’t you prefer to make these choices yourself rather than forcing your family to do so if you’re incapacitated?
No provisions in the Commercial and Civil Code of Thailand address Living Wills. It wasn’t until March 10, 2007 that Thailand formally recognized Living Wills. Rhe Health Act of 2007, allows “Living wills” in Section 12:
“Section 12: An individual is entitled to make a Living Will expressing that person’s intentions to refrain from receiving medical treatment for the purpose of extending the last phase of their life or for ending the suffering arising from the illness.
A Living Will in Thailand should adhere to the principles and regulations of the Ministerial Regulation.
Public health officials abiding by the Living Will, based on paragraph 1, are not conducting themselves improperly and will not be held responsible.”
The regulation about ‘Living Will in Thailand” was signed and published in October2010. According to clause 1, it will be applicable 210 days after the publication in the Governmental Gazette. So, it took effect on May 20th 2011.
YOU CAN FIND THE REGULATION IN THAI HERE:
AND AN UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION IN ENGLISH HERE:
A living Will does not allow mercy killing or euthanasia. If you want to make a “Living Will in Thailand”, you must respect certain conditions as mentioned in the Thai regulation:
- The person making the Will must be 18 yo or older.
- You must specify the date of the living Will. All information about the person making the Will (full name, address, Thai ID, contact number, etc.)
- You must indicate which health care you do not wish to receive. and all information related to your intentions about health care.
- It must be signed by the person making the Will and witness(es). Information about the witness(es) must also be written. To avoid any legal problem, we suggest to put at least 2 witnesses. Their relationship with the declarant must be written and it would be wise to put witnesses that have no interests in your estate (people that are not heir in your Last Will or that are not statutory heir(s).
- The writer of the Will, if not the declarant, must be specified.