Category: Advanced Directives

Advance directives are legal documents that provide instructions for medical care and only go into effect if you cannot communicate your own wishes.

Hospice and the Pennsylvania Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment — POLST

A review of the implications of each choice for the terminally ill patient as well as the loved ones of those who are terminally ill. This form comes into practice typically under two conditions… no pulse and is not breathing OR has a pulse and/or is breathing (but while not mentioned is typically in the last two weeks of life if no measures are taken with the understanding that any and all measures do not guarantee a longer time frame). Let’s review the form below:
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DNR and the Terminally Ill

Navigating conversations about Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders with terminally ill patients and their families can be challenging yet crucial for ensuring that the patient's wishes and comfort are prioritized. The decision between opting for DNR or full code often involves delicate emotions, medical considerations, and ethical concerns. In this article, we will delve into a methodology that has proven effective in facilitating these discussions, particularly in the context of hospice care. Drawing from years of experience and successful outcomes, we'll explore approaches that prioritize compassion, clarity, and patient-centered care. Additionally, we'll reference valuable resources to enhance understanding and guide these critical conversations.
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End-of-Life Decisions: Don’t wait until it’s too late for advanced directives

Advanced Directives
Autonomy, the right to receive or refuse medical treatment is a crucial element of health care ethics (American Nurses Association (ANA), 2011; Plakovic, 2016). Nurses are involved in helping patients and families be aware of when end-of-life is occurring, and in educating the patient and family about end-of-life legislation that helps guide everyone committed to continue the right of patient autonomy when the patient is no longer able to express their wishes. Before the Patient Self Determination Act, we had the famous cases of Karen Ann Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan who were, from a point-of-view, forced to suffer for ten or more years of futile treatment (Miller, 2017). Now, we have advanced directives that allow patients to express their wishes while they are able, yet we still have ethical dilemmas when either those needs are expressed vaguely or not at all. It is in the best interest of the patient and the patient's loved ones for advanced directives to be utilized and kept up to date.
Read MoreEnd-of-Life Decisions: Don’t wait until it’s too late for advanced directives

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