In this monthly column, afpop, Portugal’s largest foreign residents’ association, aims to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions by members.
Question: I’ve heard it’s possible to make a Living Will in Portugal. Is that true and what do I do with it once I’ve created it?
afpop ANSWERS: Yes, that is true. You can register whether or not you would like to receive treatment in case of severe illness and to what extent you wish the treatments to continue in a Living Will, or ‘Testamento Vital’.
The Living Will is an electronically recorded document where you can express the kind of treatment or healthcare you want, or do not want, when you are unable to express your will personally because of ill health. The Living Wills also allow the appointment of one or more healthcare providers.
To simplify the process, you can access the Citizen’s Area (Área do Cidadão) through the website www.sns.gov.pt(available in Portuguese and English) and download the form called Diretiva Antecipada de Vontade (DAV), which you complete and deliver to your local Centro de Saúde. After that, the Living Will is registered in the health system platform RENTEV (Registo Nacional de Testamento Vital). This National Register of Living Wills maintains updated information on Living Wills, ensuring timely availability when necessary.
In a context of urgency or specific treatment, the doctors can consult the Vital Testament of the patient through this platform, thereby ensuring that the previously expressed Will is fulfilled. The testator themselves can, through the Citizen’s Area (Área do Cidadão), verify that their Living Will is correct, active, and still expresses their personal wishes, giving access to the Wills for all doctors.
For afpop members we have prepared a fact-sheet with the translation of this document, including a copy of the form to be completed, which can be downloaded from the members’ area of our website or requested/collected from the afpop office. Resident readers can request a copy of this fact-sheet by contacting the afpop office by e-mail and quoting ‘Algarve Resident August edition’.
For more information about the benefits of membership of afpop, the largest Association for Foreign Residents in Portugal, you can visit their website www.afpop.com; e-mail them direct on email@example.com or call the afpop office on 282 458 509 (t/m 938 252 100). Please remember to quote the Algarve Resident when contacting them.