Informed Consent and Advanced Decision of Treatment

“Informed Consent and Advanced Decision of Treatment (ADT): Challenges for Members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and the possible approach in the care of Brothers and Sisters?”.

Two webinars organized by the USG & UISG Health Commission

Last year, just a few weeks before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Health Commission announced a conference on informed consent and ADT. It was scheduled for 27 March 2020, but had to be cancelled due to lockdowns imposed as measures to contain the contagion. However, the Commission deemed it necessary to resume the subject, considering it to be not only topical, but also particularly relevant in the framework of religious life due to its impact on both religious life itself and on the service of care and custody of sick brothers and sisters. Indeed, the implications of an explicitly expressed and documented informed consent involve new dynamics in the human relations concerning therapeutic and care services provided. Such dynamics require a greater understanding and ability to manage.
The evolving legal framework within which medical and care practice takes place, has practical implications in many countries compelling religious men and women to draw up Anticipated Decisions of Treatment (ADT) and/or delegate them to trusted individuals for all matters concerning authorisation to intervene medically, especially – but not exclusively – in extremely critical conditions with loss of cognitive capacity. It is increasingly evident that certain aspects of such legal and civil legislative development can exclude – as has already happened in some cases – the competent superiors and/or those responsible for attending the elderly and the sick within the context of their own congregation, or which can be the cause of tensions with the religious person’s relatives and at times even with the same religious person.
It is in the light of such issues, that the Unions’ Health Commission decided to organise two webinars aiming at providing support to superiors and to the religious men and women in finding possible operational responses in accompanying brothers and sisters in their therapeutic journey in the framework of informed consent and ADT legislation, perhaps also paving the way for future formative courses to be identified. The first webinar will deal with the ethical-legal aspects of the issue, while the second webinar will deal with the pastoral aspects and will enable participants to share experiences and dilemmas on the subject.

The two webinars will be held on the zoom platform provided by the UISG on Tuesday, 9 November and Tuesday, 16 November, from 2 pm to 5 pm (Rome time). The programme is annexed to this invitation.

The webinars are addressed in particular to General and Provincial Superiors and their counsellors or those responsible in assisting the sick. Every superior is free to co-opt or indicate also brothers or lay staff who wish to participate in this initiative. The recordings of the two webinars will then be made available to the registered participants for any use they may deem desirable in their own institutional context to raise awareness of the such question.
Online registration is required in order to participate in the webinars: every participant must fill an individual form, even if they belong to the same institution.
If you are not a Superior(s), registration must be done through your Superior or Superior General.

Registration can be done at this link until 2 November 2021:

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the zoom link to access both webinars. You do not need to make another registration for the second meeting. Please keep good notice of this information since it will not be sent twice.
Simultaneous translation will be provided based on the languages selected by the participants.
We look forward to hearing from you, hoping the theme will be of your interest, as the Commission considers it particularly critical for the “health ministry” that the religious world carries out both in its own context as well as in its service to fragility in a broader sense, and we hope to see you on the dates indicated.