Centre régional de lutte contre le cancer, Institut Claudius Regaud, 20-24, rue du Pont-Saint-Pierre, 31052 Toulouse cedex, France
Since the 4th March 2002 law all hospital units should enable patients to designate a trustworthy person. The Institut Claudius Regaud Psycho-Social Oncology Unit has led an investigation into the understanding and the practical details use of this measure. The results demonstrate that the trustworthy person is well known. However its functions and responsibilities seem to be misunderstood. This raises the question of finding the most appropriate way of putting such a law into practice that would both suit and respect the patient’s needs and wishes.