Advanced Directives

Nurses General Nursing


I am a nursing student doing a paper on the ethical and legal issues surrounding Advanced Directives. I am interested in any insights, or personal experiences with regards to honoring patients "end of life decisions" and dealing with families/health care professionals/communities/etc. who do not agree with those decisions OR who have cultural/religious/etc beliefs that oppose the patients wishes. Thank you so much for any experiences you are able to share.

My personal experience with advanced directives has been mixed. I have found that a family that is very opposed to the advanced directive generally gets what they want. What we (as a health care team) have done is to sit down- the MD, primary RN, and the family, and discuss in detail the prognosis, the advance directive and the patient- what type of person they are/were... We've had a lot more success in getting opposing family memebrs to honor these documents.

Hi- You might want to check at your local area hospitals to see if they have an ethics committee. I bet they have some documentation on cases and could also site some literature references for you!! I know the committee at my facility deals with these types of cases all the time. If you don't have success with your local hospitals, leave another message and I can put you in touch with someone!

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