Self-determination

Patient's right to self-determination

 
All patients have the right to self-determination. Treatment is subject to mutual agreement between the patient and the care-givers. Patients have the right to refuse treatment, parts of treatment, and medical operations. When a patient refuses treatment, they will be treated using other medically justified alternatives acceptable to the patient, as far as possible.
 
If agreement cannot be reached, the physician decides on appropriate treatment on medical grounds, based on their position as an expert. Patients are not entitled to receive whatever treatment they might like to have.
 

A living will

 
A living will or an advance directive is a legal document stating your wishes concerning your medical treatment in the case that you become incapacitated due to an accident or unconsciousness, for example. If you wish to make a living will, you need to sign a note of it in your patient records or complement your records with a signed living will document. In a living will, you can state that you do not want resuscitation, for example.
 
A living will is used when the patient has, due to a serious illness or accident, for example, lost their capacity to state their wishes concerning medical treatment. According to the act on patients' rights, patients have the right to refuse treatment after a health care professional has explained the significance of refusing treatment. A note must be included in the patient documents stating that the health effects that could result from following the patient's wishes have been sufficiently explained to them. The patient's wishes are respected and obeyed.
 

Organ transplantation

 
In many cases, an organ transplant is the only available option to recover a patient's health. In Finland, organ transplants include kidney, liver, heart, lung, heart-lung, and corneal transplants. There is a dire need for transplant organs.

The first organ transplant in Finland - a kidney transplant - was completed in 1964. In Finland, all organ transplants are performed at HUCH hospitals.  The amended Act on the Medical Use of Human Organs and Tissues (No. 101/2001) emphasises a person's right to donate organs to treat another human being. The law assumes that a deceased person who would be a suitable donor has consented to donate their organs, unless it is known that the person has specifically prohibited it while still alive.
 
To the best of their abilities, the physician must determine the wishes of the deceased before any organs are removed. If the deceased has not signed an organ donor card, for example, their close relatives or other close people can be asked if they know what the deceased would have wished. However, if the deceased person's wishes cannot be determined within the available timeframe, organs may nevertheless be removed.