Advanced Directives

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Advanced Directives CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION 4 II. Will Your Advance Directive be Honored? 4 III. What are Advanced Directives 5 IV. Advanced Directives Fall Short 5 V. Who Decides 7 VI. Why are Advanced Directives not Followed 8 VII Conclusion 9 BIBLIOGRAPHY 10 Introduction This paper presents an in-depth discussion about the issues involved in honoring a patient's advance directive. Ethical considerations surrounding the issue as they relate to the nursing profession are addressed. The purpose of the paper is to express an informed position on the issue of honoring a patient's advance directive and explore reasons why one may not be honored. The topic was chosen on account of personal observation and awareness in an acute care setting. The sources used to develop this paper are published nursing journals, current books related to this issue, and the Internet. Will Your Advance Directive be Honored? Advances in medical technology have done a great deal to produce miraculous cures and recoveries. In some circumstances however, these advances have created problems for the elderly. More aggressive technology approaches are used to extend the life of the elderly. On the whole the elderly, as well as others, welcome that development, even if they fear some of its consequences. With these advances it has become possible to keep people in a vegetative state for almost unlimited periods of time. Moreover, there are situations in which neither the patient nor the family has the ability to bring such unhappy circumstances to an end. For this reason, advanced directives are becoming increasingly prevalent. In a recent study, King (1996) reported that approximately 90% of the American public want advance directives. Both the young and the healthy express at least as much interest in planning as those older than 65 and those in fair to poor health (p.
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