Transcript Document

Advance Directives
(Legal Directives)
 Legal documents that allow individuals to state what
treatment they do or do not want in the event that
they become incapacitated and are unable to express
their wishes regarding medical care.
There are two main directives
Living Wills
Durable Power of Attorney
Living Will
 Documents that allow individuals to state what
measures should or should not be taken to prolong
life when conditions are terminal.
 Must be signed when the individual is competent and
witnessed by two adults that will not benefit from the
Living Wills
 Living wills often result in a Do Not Resuscitate order
 A DNR means that cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR) is not performed when the patient stops
 A DNR allows the patient to die with peace
and dignity
 This can be very difficult for healthcare
workers to honor (primum non nocere)
 Many individuals believe that quality of life is
important and a life on support systems has
no meaning or purpose for them.
Durable Power of Attorney
 Document that permits an individual (known as a
principal) to appoint another individual (known as an
agent) to make any decisions regarding health care if
the principal should become unable to make
Durable Power of Attorney Decisions can
 Providing or withholding specific medications or
surgical procedures
 Hiring or dismissing health care providers
 Spending or withholding funds for health care
Patient Self Determination Act
 Mandates that all health care facilities receiving any
type of federal aid comply with the following
 Inform every adult (orally and in writing) of their right
to make decisions regarding health care including
their right to refuse treatment and their right to die
 Provide information and assistance on preparing
advance directives
 Document any advance directive on the
patient’s record
 Have written statements to implement the
patient’s rights in decision-making process
 Affirm that there will be no discrimination or
effect on care because of advance directives
 Educate the staff on the medical and legal
issues of advance directives
 The PSDA ensures that the patients are informed of
their rights and have the opportunity to determine
the care they will receive.