Goa becomes the first state to implement and operationalise “Living Will” Advanced Medical Directives in the country.

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31 May 2024: Indian Medical Association (IMA) Goa state branch along with Goa State legal services, authority (GSLSA) jointly, organised unveiling ceremony of Advanced Medical Directives (AMD) booklet at the hands of Shri Justice M.S Sonak, Shri Justice Valmiki Menezes and Shri Justice Jitendra Jain, also present were Dr.Sandesh Chodankar President,IMA Goa state and Dr Shekhar Salkar Along with other dignitaries.

Dr Shekhar Salkar in his welcome note mentioned how the Supreme Court of India in its judgement dated January 2023 have paved a way for End of Life Care (EOLC) living will or technically known as Advanced Medical Directives (AMD) is a boon for patients who are in futile conditions and have no hope for recovery. He expressed that he has a personal connection with the topic as his father was in the same condition due to prolonged illness, but at that time due to nonavailability of such options, it was very difficult phase of life.

The AMD Booklet unveiled at today’s function gives a glimpse on various intricacies of the living will and link to relevant documents and details.

Dr. Sandesh Chodankar in his speech explained to the members that the preliminary discussions to operationalise end of life care was held by Indian medical Association Goa State branch in the month of February 2024, after numerous meetings and continued support from the High Court of Bombay at Goa and GSLSA, IMA Goa state could eventually set up the process and implement AMD for the state of Goa, he further expressed happiness that today’s function also witnessed the creation of the first AMD of the state.

Justice M.S Sonak, Senior judge at High Court of Bombay at Goa in his keynote address congratulated all the stakeholders involved in the process of making possible implementation of AMD for the state of Goa. He remarked that with this Goa has become the first state to implement and operationalise “Living Will” Advanced Medical Directives in the country in true letter and spirit of the Supreme Court directives. Justice Sonak appealed to the public to come forward and understand the intricacies of a living will and make an informed decision.

Dr Amol Mahaldar, noted Nephrologist and domain expert on End of Lifecare, gave an overview on the procedural and technical aspects of creating an advanced medical directive or the living will. He specifically pointed out that the living will has to be drafted as per the reference format in the presence of two witnesses and has to be duly certified by a gazetted officer following which it has to be forwarded to the main Mamlatdar of the taluka who shall send it to the Nodal officer appointed by the District Collector for safe custody.
Dr Amol, further added that at the time of execution of the living will, there are primary and secondary medical boards which scrutinise the AMD and implement it as per the merit of the case.

The gathering witnessed the creation of the first Advanced medical directive living will of state of Goa.
Justice MS Sonak consented to be the first person from the state of Goa to execute the living Will in the presence of Dr.Sandesh Chodankar and Shri Dinesh Shetty as the witnesses and Dr Medha Salkar Chief Medical Officer (Ophthalmic cell) Directorate of Services Goa as the gazetted officer.

Advanced medical directive has paved a new way in end of life care for patients having no hope of recovery and Goa is the first state to operationalise and implement, advanced medical directives in the country.

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