Medical Legal Directives

2148 words 9 pages
Advance Directives—research and discuss the legal and ethical basis for Advance Directives such as the Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. Why are these documents so valuable in healthcare situations? What legal authority do these documents provide for decision making by family and/or healthcare providers? Briefly discuss a situation in which a Living Will might apply and would be of benefit to those involved. Once you have researched and discussed Advance Directives, draft a sample Living Will, indicating the type of content that should be found in such a document. Some students take this opportunity to prepare their own actual Living Will, and that certainly is encouraged.
What Are Advance Directives?
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Beneficence, as related to advance directives, implies that complying with a patient’s wishes is akin to promoting good, preventing and not inflicting harm, and removing harm. Nonmaleficence is the principle element associated with the maxim implied in the Hippocratic Oath “above all, do no harm” (Page, 2012). Complying with a patient’s advance directives not to receive treatment, or certain therapies, ensures healthcare providers do not find themselves in an ethical situation in which they are employing treatment to “wrong” a person. Justice simply means treating people with fairness, with the principle of justice calling upon the duty to respect a patient’s human dignity (Page, 2012).
Why Are Advance Directives So Valuable in Healthcare Situations?
An advance directive is a very important and personal way of making a person’s views known for a time when they may be unable to speak for themselves. Doctors and other professional care workers must take an individual’s preferences into account if they are aware of them. The issues surrounding serious illness and death are not easy to discuss. Having an advance directive in place helps a person to communicate information about their treatment with those closest to them and to other trusted individuals. Although a person cannot insist on receiving certain treatments, an advance directive does allow them to express their opinion about treatment they do not wish to have.


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