Advance Directive

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Related to Advanced Directives: Durable power of attorney

Advance Directive

A legal document expressing a person's medical wishes in the event of his/her mental or physical incapacity. An advance directive is made while the director is still competent, and comes into effect at incapacity. An advance directive may state whether or not the director wishes to be placed on life support or to receive a particular treatment. It may or may not assign another party, usually a family member, to make these decisions as they come up. It is important to note that in this situation, an advance directive is not a power of attorney and neither allows the other party access to the assignor's finances, nor obliges him/her to pay for any treatment. See also: Proxy directive.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Initiating an advanced directive can create a great communication with your spouse or your significant other or your family.
It would be interesting to investigate further whether there was justified concern that advanced directives might be used to frame choice when the physician was ready to "throw in the towel too early".
Not surprisingly, these nursing homes tended to have a higher percentage of residents signing advanced directives.
So the past decade has seen a tremendous push for living wills and other advanced directives, while more and more families in hospital waiting rooms find themselves asked if they want "everything done" for their beloved.
Such policies include do not resuscitate, termination of life support, defining brain death, complying with advanced directives, determining the appropriate surrogate decision maker, triaging, determining capacity to refuse consent to treatment, and other issues.
As the one responsible for continuity of a patient's care, the family physician is the appropriate person to counsel patients about advanced directives. These decisions are neither simple nor static.
However, a recent study found that elderly patients who discussed advanced directives with their physician had a positive emotional response.[14] In another study, physicians generally reported positive attitudes toward their experiences with advance directives.
"Nurses have to also be responsible for monitoring the current status of any advanced directives in force, which is especially important these days with the requirement that residents undergo this discussion on admission.

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