Advanced Directives Essay

2336 WordsDec 27, 201110 Pages
Advanced Directives and Do Not Resuscitate Kimberly Stanton HCA 322 Professor: Delores Thomas December 11, 2011 In health care, end of life decisions and advanced directives can be one of the most difficult processes and decisions that a patient and family may face. Each person through their life experiences and knowledge has to face difficult thought provoking decisions on what to do when it is possible that death may be eminent. Advances in medicine and technology have giving physicians the ability to prolong and sustain life more so than ever. Modern medicine allows for sustaining life when the physical body has shut down the mechanisms to keep humans alive. The advances we have made in medicine and technology have now made it possible to keep the heart beating and the flow of oxygen into our lungs way past the time when our quality of life is desirable. As providers of healthcare services we face the ethical and legal dilemmas of end of life care, advanced directives, and ensuring quality of life while maintaining the support of the patient regarding end of life decisions and promotion of the patient’s right of autonomy. Health care providers are faced with knowing and understanding the legal aspects of advanced directives and end of life care in the state that they practice in. When the right to autonomy conflicts with healthcare providers attempts to provide care and beneficence, it is the provider’s legal and ethical obligation to allow the patient to exercise his or her autonomy. An example of this may be the recommendation of a physician for a surgery that the physician knows is necessary to the health and well-being of the patient. As an example, the physician may recommend an amputation of a gangrenous limb in order to save the life of the patient, yet the patient chooses not to have the amputation. It is then the ethical and legal obligation

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