What are advance directives?
Advance directives are extremely important. It is essential that everyone make some sort of arrangement before an unfortunate situation happens to them where these decisions will need to be made. An advance directive is basically a living will or a written statement in which people state the type and amount of care they wish to receive during a terminal illness and as death approaches. Medical Law and Ethics stated that “Advance directives limit the type and amount of medical care and treatment that patients will receive if they should become incompetent and have a poor prognosis. It is important that directives are placed in writing; it is not sufficient for a person to just tell someone what his or her wishes for treatment are. The courts typically enforce written advance directives.” (pg 313) There are four types of advance directives. They are a living will, durable power of attorney for healthcare, uniform anatomical gift act, and a do not resuscitate order. The living will is a “document that a person drafts before becoming incompetent or unable to make healthcare decisions.” The durable power of attorney for healthcare is “A legal document that empowers another person (proxy) to make healthcare decisions for healthcare for an incompetent patient. It goes into effect after the person becomes incompetent and only pertains to healthcare decisions.” The uniform anatomical gift act is a “law that allows persons 18 years or older and of sound mind to make a gift of any part of their body for purposes of medical research or transplantation.” The do not resuscitate order is “an order placed into a person’s medical chart or medical record. It indicates that the person does not wish to be resuscitated if breathing stops.” (pg 103)
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