Death is a sorrowful moment for everyone involved and those concluding moments leading up to fatality are important to the patient, family members and as well to the healthcare provider. Because death is inescapable we all must prepare. Among the many issues regarding death it can easily become a more difficult dilemma if a patients wishes concerning their care are undefined. The protection of those who are on the edge of death or terminally ill and are unable to speak for oneself is an important factor that should be discussed, planned, and prepared for the future. Advance Directives are a written legal document in which it was created for this very purpose while making those final moments a little less difficult on regards to the healthcare treatment they would like to receive. By having an Advance Directive family members as well as the healthcare provider are aware of the altercations they must make for the loved one or patient. I have researched powerful articles upon the discussion of Advance Directives and determined the importance of such an overlooked topic.
If given the situation you were unable to speak for yourself, would your family members know the wishes you had for the treatment you would like to receive? Do you have a written plan stating what health care actions you would or would not want if you unexpectedly became incompetent? Or say you where aware of the terminal illness you had been diagnosed with, the guidelines apply to both scenarios. This leads me to bring forth the understanding and importance of advance directives.
“Advanced directives give a competent individual the ability to direct future healthcare decisions if he is unable to do so at the time in question.” (Klein, 2005.) Figuratively speaking, an advance directive is a written legal document that says how you want to be cared for including medical treatments you would want and whom you would trust to make healthcare decisions for you. There are four types of advance directives that exist in Texas they are: Medical Power of Attorney (formerly known as Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care), a Living Will, Out-of-Hospital Do-Not Resuscitate Order, Declaration for Mental Health Treatment. “A Medical Power of Attorney is a form that allows you to appoint someone (your "agent") to make health care decisions for you if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. These decisions can include agreeing to or refusing medical treatment; deciding not to continue medical treatment; or making decisions to stop or not start life-sustaining treatment.” (Texas Health Resources.) Having a Medical Power of Attorney provides everyone with complete knowledge to those of whom it may concern. This directive gives the DPAHC the ability to make decisions only if you are unable too. “A living will is a list of treatment preferences. It can be used to indicate whether you would want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), tube feedings, a breathing machine, or certain medicines, like antibiotics.” (American Family Physician, 2012.) Living wills can be known as instructive directives, allowing an individual to predetermine preferences regarding the stipulation of specific treatments. Although it is important to be aware not all end-of-life decisions are covered in a living will. A DNR is usually applied when an accident such as car wreaks or anything that may happen unexpectedly occurs. This is known as an out-of-hospital DNR order. “An Out-of-Hospital DNR Order is a form completed by an individual person and his or her physician that allows the patient to refuse specific life-sustaining treatments outside of a hospital inpatient setting. An Out-of-Hospital DNR Order form or ID necklace or bracelet will tell health care providers, including emergency medical service personnel, not to use cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other life-sustaining treatments. (Texas Health Resources.) Lastly, the...
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