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Right to Make Decisions About One’s Own Life. Need for Legislative Improvement

Thursday, 16 May
13:30 - 15:00

Guards Hall, General Staff Building (6-8, Dvortsovaya sq.)



Each of us takes dozens of decisions daily – where to go on holiday, what doctor to approach, how and where to have medical treatment, where to educate our children – and we don’t want other people to make such decisions for us. What happens if as a result of a severe injury or terminal illness we are no longer able to make our own decisions?  Do we want people we know nothing about to decide for us?

The concepts of a ‘living will’ and ‘advanced care plan’ – instructions in case of a grave illness or incapacity and end-of-life care planning, including the scope of potential medical interventions––have long been established worldwide.

The practice of making wills is, however, only in its nascent stages in Russia, while a legal mechanism enabling one to leave binding instructions about one’s health, medical treatment, the fate of minor or legally incapable children in case of a grave illness or death is plainly non-existent. The Constitution guarantees the right to life, health and medical assistance but there is no legislative mechanism that allows to exercise the right to make one’s own decisions about the end of life.

At our round table event, we will be the first to speak of the right to express one’s will about oneself and one’s relatives.  Whether to prolong one’s life by any means or allow a person to refuse intensive care, or medical treatment degrading the quality of life.  How to lay down one’s decision about organ donation.  Whom to entrust with the guardianship of one’s children.  How to build up a system based on respect for person’s rights and decisions when the person is no longer able to communicate. Our round table event may give rise to changes that are important for every thinking person in this country.



Gor Nakhapetyan, Rector’s Advisor, SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management


  • Lynne Halamish, thanatologist (Israel)
  • Archpriest Alexey Uminsky, rector of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Khokhly (Russia)
  • Vera Miller, palliative care doctor (USA)
  • Natalya Savva, Chief doctor at children's hospice “Dom s Mayakom” (Russia)
  • Yulia Solomakhina, Cleary Gottlieb partner (Russia)
  • Andrey Pavlenko, head of Oncology center


Participation is by invitation only.

* The Programme may be subject to change