By Ángel Marín Díaz
We welcome Ángel Marín Díaz to the weekly legal column. Angel has 20 years’ experience as president and CEO of Inmtec Legal Services offices in Mexico, including San Miguel Allende, CDMX, and an office currently under construction in Querétaro.
The advance directive is a document through which a person can ensure that his or her wishes are followed on whether or not to undergo medical procedures that prolong life in the event of a terminal stage, in which it would be impossible to continue living without medical assistance.
While euthanasia is not legal in Mexico, a medical directive can give guidance to the medical staff regarding the patient’s wishes, which may include not being put on a respirator or feeding machine, or opting out of intubation.
Said document is governed by the provisions of the Advance Will Law for the State of Guanajuato, with mention of its requirements in its seventh article:
- The expression of one’s will in a personal, free, conscious, unequivocal, and informed way before a notary
- Subscribe by the interested party with name and signature
- The appointment of a representative to monitor compliance with the advance directive document in the terms and circumstances set forth therein
According to article 15 of the aforementioned law, for a person who does not understand the Spanish language, his/ her representative must appoint an interpreter who will translate the will of the grantor. The final document will include the one signed in the original language and the translated one.
The Notary is in charge of transcribing the will, which at the end of its writing will be read aloud so that the signatory can verify that his or her will is expressed.
The document must be signed by the applicant, the notary, the representative, and the interpreter, where appropriate, stating the place, year, month, day, and time in which the document was granted, the above in accordance with article 16 of the Advance Will Law.
When the signatory is under the circumstances provided for in the advance directive, the personnel of the health institution must comply with the provisions of the document, as well as the provisions of the General Health Law.
By provision of the Advance Directive Law, Article 43: “At no time and under no circumstances will euthanasia be performed on the patient. Medications or treatments that intentionally cause the death of the terminally ill patient may not be provided.”
The purpose of the document of the advance directive is to protect the human will through the tools provided by health institutions.
Before you set out to put your wishes to paper, always make sure your legal representation is completely familiar with your needs.
For all your estate planning, legacy bequeathments, notarial services, or more specific questions and information, contact the author Ángel Marín Díaz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel 4151219005.