Advance Directives and Living Wills: Overview
Among the few subjects who wanted aggressive care, however, half did not receive it. Some persons might suggest that this finding indicates that advance directives are used to deny preferred health care. We believe that would be a misinterpretation of our findings, because our regression analyses showed that documenting a preference for aggressive care significantly increased the likelihood of receiving such care as compared with not expressing such a preference. What might explain these findings? First, for many subjects, aggressive care may not have been an option regardless of their preferences. Second, among subjects who wanted all care possible, most had a durable power of attorney for health care to make real-time decisions on their behalf. Surrogates frequently override previously stated preferences, but usually because the circumstances require it, and data indicate that patients want it that way. We suggest a more favorable interpretation of our data — namely, that living wills have an important effect on care received and that a durable power of attorney for health care is necessary to account for unforeseen factors. If we accept a durable power of attorney for health care as an extension of the patient, then we must also accept surrogate decisions as valid expressions of the patient's autonomy, even when those decisions conflict with the patient's written preferences before the onset of the terminal illness (as long as the durable power of attorney for health care acts with the patient's best interests in mind).
Advance Directives, Living Wills Information. Patient. …
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Living Will Form | Estate Planning - US Legal Forms
If the principal is physically unable to sign the living will, one of the witnesses must subscribe the principal’s signature in the principal’s presence and at the principal’s direction.
Living Wills & Advanced Directives » Smith and …
In summary, we found that more than a quarter of elderly adults may require surrogate decision making at the end of life. Both a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care appear to have a significant effect on the outcomes of decision making. Thus, advance directives are important tools for providing care in keeping with patients' wishes. For more patients to avail themselves of these valuable instruments, the health care system should ensure that providers have the time, space, and reimbursement to conduct the time-consuming discussions necessary to plan appropriately for the end of life. Data suggest that most elderly patients would welcome these discussions.
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