In Italy, a living will is a legally binding statement of choices made by persons who fear they may not be mentally capable in future, make advance decisions on future diagnostic assessments, therapeutic or medical treatments which may be applicable / available to them.
In this sense, the person interested (the principal) might appoint a representative (so called “health proxy”). The nominated person will represent the principal in his future relationship with doctors and with medical choices (not patrimony) in accordance with the content of the living will.
The actions authorized by the nominated person may differ from the living will only in certain and specific case – ascertained with the doctor - in which there are specific obstructing circumstances to realize the living will.
The health proxy is not mandatory in the living will and it can be grant jointly with the living will or later with a separate document. In both cases the health proxy needs to be accepted by the nominated person.
The living will and the health proxy must be in the written form and certified by an Italian lawyer or by an Italian notary (“scrittura privata autenticata or atto pubblico”) and insert in the Italian Living Wills databank (“Banca Dati delle DAT”) of the Ministry for Health (“Ministero della Salute”).
The principal in any time could change or revoke the living will and his representative.