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.
But while this preparation may certainly include conversations with our loved ones and doctors or the filling out of advanced directives or living wills, it will more likely depend upon how we live in the present, as well as how we live up against our dying--for as Nuland says at the close of How We Die, the real ars moriendi is found in the ars vivendi: the art of living.
Encouraging advanced directives will both honor a patient's rights and save money.
As the one responsible for continuity of a patient's care, the family physician is the appropriate person to counsel patients about advanced directives.
However, a recent study found that elderly patients who discussed advanced directives with their physician had a positive emotional response.
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.
Once the file has been established, members can even incorporate paper-based documents via fax, including EKGs, lab results and advanced directives (living wills).

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