Issues in Bioethics: advance directives in a Canadian-Croatian Perspective


  • Ana Horvat


The author gives an overview of the Canadian development and application of advance directives,
a relatively young type of legal documents aimed at medical self-determination of patients
anticipating their decisional incompetence. By reviewing their legal history in Canada, from their
recognition in jurisprudence through application of common law principles, and across reception
of such case-law in provincial legislations, the author identifies possible lessons for Croatia.
In that regard, she discusses the extent of patient’s consent in Croatia, as well as the possibility of
developing advance directives as instruments legally accessible to terminal patients. By analyzing
the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and Council of Europe documents,
she argues Croatia already has a legal frame in place for such a development.