Representation of the Individual

ADMINISTRATIVE domain

  • Self-determination
    An individual, capable of discernment, can exercise self-determination and draw up a power of attorney, which designates a person of his/her choice who will represent him/her in the event that he/she becomes incapable of forming his/her own views, with the purpose of managing the day-to-day affairs for that individual.
  • No self-determination and if the individual is incapable of forming his/her own views
    The spouse or registered partner can, according to the law, with no dispensation needed from a judge, represent the individual who is incapable of forming his/her own views and manage day-to-day administrative affairs for that individual.

MEDICAL domain

  • Self-determination
    An individual, capable of discernment, can exercise self-determination and draw up an advance directive stating the treatments to which the individual gives consent to or refuses, in the event that he/she becomes incapable of forming his/her own views. The individual can also designate a representative to make treatment decisions on his/her behalf. In Geneva, the concept of advance directives has existed since 1996; with the new rights, this tool, which has been carried over into federal law, now applies throughout Switzerland.
  • No self-determination and if the individual is incapable of forming his/her own views
    The relatives of the individual who is incapable of forming his/her own views may, in accordance with the law and without the intervention of a court, represent the individual in medical decisions, and can consent to or refuse treatment on the patient's behalf, based on the individual's presumed wishes. The law prescribes a restrictive order of "closeness" and a comprehensive list of relatives who can act as representatives.

These are, in order:

  1. Spouse or registered partner, if the latter lives with the patient or provides regular assistance;
  2. A person who lives with the patient (e.g. domestic partner), if this person provides regular assistance;
  3. Descendants (children, grandchildren), if they provide regular assistance;
  4. Parents, if they provide regular assistance;
  5. Brothers and sisters, if they provide regular assistance.

It should be noted that if there is a conflict between relatives, the protective authority may be informed. In Geneva, this is the Tribunal de protection de l'adulte et de l'enfant (Court for the Protection of Adults and Children) (TPAE; the former "Tribunal tutélaire" ) It should also be noted that if the patient has no relatives, or if the patient's relatives refuse to represent him/her (as representing the patient is optional), the TPAE may be informed of this, and will put in place a protective measure.

 

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Last update : 24/01/2017