The purpose of an advance directive is to have a written statement stating the type and amount of care a person wishes to receive during a terminal illness. (Medical Law and Ethics, 2008, pp. 102) An advance directive is a very important part of life once you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or even if you are getting older and doubt the degree to which you will be taken care of.
Three types of advance directives are living wills, a durable power of attorney, and a do not resuscitate (DNR). A Living will is a document that you draft before becoming too incompetent to make your own medical decisions. A Durable power of attorney is a legal document that empowers another person to make healthcare decisions regarding your care when incompetent. A Do-Not-Resuscitate, or DNR, is an order indicating that you do not wish to be resuscitated if your breathing should cease. A DNR should be filed with your medical chart and/or your medical records.
The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act is where a person 18 years of age or older and competent enough to make the decision on their own, can donate any part of their body to medical research or donation. For example, I am an organ donor. I am a smoker, so when I die I know that my lungs will be no good for donation. There are a lot more organs that can be donated in place of my bad lungs though.
Regarding the case of the gentleman finding out that he has cancer, he has every right to an advance directive. He actually has a right to every advance directive that is available if he so chooses them. He has the right because, depending on the type of cancer he has, he is competent enough to make the decision to have the advance directives.
The patient in turn, also has the right to refuse the treatment. There is no definite yes or no to whether the treatment will cure him and if he does not want to go through with the hassle of going through chemo or drug after drug to “try” to cure him, then he...
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