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Ethical Considerations in Executing and Implementing Advance Directives

Ethical Considerations in Executing and Implementing Advance Directives EDITORIAL Ethical Considerations in Executing and Implementing Advance Directives N THIS ISSUE of the ARCHIVES, Gross presents data it occur. Furthermore, it tends to be severely misinter- about the current use of advance directives in preted. The language of the living will also invariably re- clinical practice and makes a number of sugges- fers to “hopeless illness,” or “not prolonging the dying tions. Central to this article are a number of un- process.” The problem here is that these definitions (just I examined assumptions. Several of these seem what does “hopeless” mean? just what is the “dying pro- worth examining: (1) prior to losing their ability to make cess” and when does it start?) are entirely left up to the decisions, patients should be able to express their wishes physician who may simply wave the instrument aside by about treatment and express them in documents that in asserting that it is not hopeless (there is still a minus- the future might be binding on physicians and other health cule chance: something that is almost always the case) care providers; (2) when it comes to treatment deci- or that the patient is, in fact, “not dying.” Furthermore, sions about theoretical http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA Internal Medicine American Medical Association

Ethical Considerations in Executing and Implementing Advance Directives

JAMA Internal Medicine , Volume 158 (4) – Feb 23, 1998

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
2168-6106
eISSN
2168-6114
DOI
10.1001/archinte.158.4.321
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

EDITORIAL Ethical Considerations in Executing and Implementing Advance Directives N THIS ISSUE of the ARCHIVES, Gross presents data it occur. Furthermore, it tends to be severely misinter- about the current use of advance directives in preted. The language of the living will also invariably re- clinical practice and makes a number of sugges- fers to “hopeless illness,” or “not prolonging the dying tions. Central to this article are a number of un- process.” The problem here is that these definitions (just I examined assumptions. Several of these seem what does “hopeless” mean? just what is the “dying pro- worth examining: (1) prior to losing their ability to make cess” and when does it start?) are entirely left up to the decisions, patients should be able to express their wishes physician who may simply wave the instrument aside by about treatment and express them in documents that in asserting that it is not hopeless (there is still a minus- the future might be binding on physicians and other health cule chance: something that is almost always the case) care providers; (2) when it comes to treatment deci- or that the patient is, in fact, “not dying.” Furthermore, sions about theoretical

Journal

JAMA Internal MedicineAmerican Medical Association

Published: Feb 23, 1998

References