With a living will, you can ensure that your personal wishes are taken into account in situations where you are no longer able to express your wishes. It is also possible to record your expression of intent via My Kanta Pages.
You may need a living will or an organ donation testament at any stage in life, although people often don’t start to think about these matters until in the event of illness or when they are getting older. Expressions of intent regarding your medical care or organ donations can, however, be made earlier than that. This guarantees that the patient’s wishes are taken into account in healthcare services. It is standard procedure during the course of medical care to automatically examine what the person has expressed as their wishes in decisions concerning their care and the implementation of care.
“If a healthcare professional is aware that the patient has a living will, it must be complied with. A living will is everyone’s own, personal assurance that their wishes are taken into account in situations where they are not capable of expressing their own will. The living will makes it easier for your family, carers and healthcare professionals to attend to your care. A living will can also be updated as and when necessary, for example, as medical science advances,” explains Project Manager Tarja Räty of the National Institute for Health and Welfare.
A living will has different meanings for different people. Some people regard it as an expression of will on purely medical grounds, for example, a “do not resuscitate” decision. For others, a living will may be based on their own convictions, in which case, for example, they may refuse blood transfusions. Sometimes the matters recorded in a living will are more mundane, such as wishes about listening to music or access to outdoor areas. A living will need not follow a certain form.
Recording a living will and organ donation testament directly in My Kanta Pages
With respect to organ donation, according to Finnish law, the organs and tissues of a brain-dead person can be used for the benefit of other people if the patient has not opposed to it when still alive. However, the existence of an organ donation testament should be established, and therefore it is advisable to keep a written copy of it somewhere where it can be accessed. It is easy to draw up both an organ donation testament and a living will directly in My Kanta Pages in the Kanta Services.
“All patient data systems used in Finland have the option of recording and browsing living wills. When the living wills have been drawn up through My Kanta Pages, it is guaranteed that the healthcare services will always have the latest versions. Via My Kanta Pages, the living wills are also accessible on a national basis in the same format in all patient data systems,” Räty says.
An organ donation testament and a living will can be recorded in My Kanta Pages at any time.
You can take all the time you need when drawing up a living will, if necessary, with the help of your family. In My Kanta Pages, the living will can also be edited and added to whenever you want. An updated version is recorded in real time, and it is accessible to healthcare services immediately.
In addition to recording in My Kanta Pages, it is a good idea to tell your family about the living will and organ donation testament. If you wish, you can also print out your own expressions of will from My Kanta Pages.
Who can save expressions of will in My Kanta Pages?
Anyone who is using My Kanta Pages can draw up their own living will or add their organ donation testament in the service.
Underage persons who have online banking codes, a mobile certificate or an ID card with a chip are also able to record the expression of their will in My Kanta Pages. However, the expressions of will of an underage person are taken into account in each illness and case separately: in certain cases the declaration of intent is legally binding and in certain cases it is taken into account as an opinion, but it is ultimately the doctor who makes a decision on medical treatment.
How to draw up a living will or an organ donation testament in My Kanta Pages
In the case of living wills, first log in to My Kanta Pages, for example, with your online banking codes. The menu on the page includes separate links to the organ donation testament and the living will. Guidance and an instructional video about the meaning of a living will and organ donation testament and how to draw them up in My Kanta Pages are available in the online school for My Kanta Pages.
- Instructional video on the Organ Donation Testament and Living Will section of My Kanta Pages (in Finnish)
- Further information about living wills is available on the living will pages of the Institute for Health and Welfare and the Alzheimer Society of Finland (in Finnish)